Embassy of the United States, New Delhi

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Embassy of the United States, Embassy New Delhi
US Embassy New Delhi.jpg
AddressShantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi[1]
Ambassadorvacant [a]
Jurisdiction India
 Bhutan
WebsiteOfficial website

The Embassy of the United States of America in New Delhi is the diplomatic mission of the United States of America in the Republic of India. The Embassy is headed by the U.S. Ambassador to India. The embassy complex is situated on a 28-acre plot of land in Chanakyapuri, the diplomatic enclave of New Delhi, where most of the embassies are located. The embassy is also accredited to Bhutan whom the United States maintains no formal relations with.[2]

History[edit]

President Obama greets U.S. Embassy personnel in New Delhi, 2015
President Obama at Roosevelt House, November 2010, photograph by Pete Souza.

The embassy was initially hosted in leased facilities which then-ambassador Loy W. Henderson identified as insufficient. When the Indian government created the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, it gave the United States the second pick for selecting a property behind the United Kingdom; Henderson selected a "beautiful" 13-acre plot, and although the State Department didn't purchase the land at that time, he persuaded Indian officials to hold the land until the government authorized its procurement in 1953, when increased ties and awareness between the two countries as well as Cold War politics placed a new embassy in India at the top of the foreign service's construction priorities.[3]

The Embassy was designed by American architect Edward Durell Stone, then a professor of architecture at Yale University and the designer of Radio City Music Hall.[4] The planning of the embassy began in the early 1950s and the complex includes the Chancery, the Roosevelt House (official residence of the U.S. Ambassador), office space and living accommodations and is located in New Delhi. After traveling to India, Stone submitted a design inspired by Indian temples and monuments, particularly the Taj Mahal, that used a white sunscreen around a structure shaped like a "rectangular donut" with a tropical water garden at the center that featured plants, fish, and birds. Despite some initial apprehension, it was approved in 1955 following a trip to the site by the commission tasked with looking at the design.[3]

The cornerstone of the structure was laid by Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren on September 1, 1956. The building was estimated to cost $2,000,000 and replaced the former Maharajah's palace where the American embassy was previously housed. Warren stated that he hoped the embassy would become a "temple of peace,"[4] and became the first contemporary American building constructed following the U.S. State Department's directive that overseas buildings "should be in harmony with cultural, architectural and climatic conditions."[5]

The Embassy was formally opened on January 5, 1959, in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and other dignitaries.[5] Following the opening ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to India Ellsworth Bunker stated, "To me this building is symbolic of what can be achieved through the cooperation of our two countries. From beginning to end it has been a joint venture."[6] Before, during and soon after its construction, the embassy gained many positive appraisals and fascination in both mainstream publications and architecture journals, with a lot of coverage during Jacqueline Kennedy's 1962 goodwill tour of India and Pakistan.[3] Upon its opening, The New York Times called the embassy "probably the most elegant in the world."[5]

An incident of sexual assault in February 2020 occurred inside the Embassy grounds when Indian police revealed a 5-year-old girl had been raped. The U.S. Embassy was deeply disturbed by the alleged misconduct, took action immediately, and brought the matter to the attention of the Delhi Police. The alleged was arrested and charged with rape, per Delhi Police, pending a trial date.[7]

The complex is currently undergoing a major renovation by Weiss/Manfredi, with the new design being announced in 2019 and groundbreaking taking place in January 2021.[8][9] The original chancery building is to remain in use as the plan will both restore current buildings as well as construct new structures.[10] Construction is expected to finished by 2027.[9]

American consulates in India[edit]

The United States also has consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, all of which are associated with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.[11]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Eric Garcetti's nomination is on hold, and his confirmation at the United States Senate is pending

References[edit]

  1. ^ Address Archived 2012-01-19 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "U.S. Relations With Bhutan". United States Department of State. July 29, 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Loeffler, Jane C. (2011). The architecture of diplomacy : building America's embassies (2nd ed.). New York: Princeton Architectural. pp. 183–191. ISBN 978-1-56898-984-6. OCLC 700033660.
  4. ^ a b Times, Special to The New York (August 30, 1956). "U.S. to Start Building New Embassy in New Delhi" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Abel, Elie (January 4, 1959). "NEW U. S. EMBASSY PRAISED BY NEHRU; Indian Head, at Dedication, Notes Blending of National Motif and U. S. Technique" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "About the embassy". Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  7. ^ "Man charged with rape of girl, 5, at US embassy complex in Delhi". the Guardian. Delhi. Agence France-Presse. February 6, 2020.
  8. ^ "Design unveiled for U.S. embassy in New Delhi". Building Design + Construction. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Work begins on WEISS/MANFREDI-led refresh of U.S. Embassy campus in New Delhi". The Architect’s Newspaper. January 8, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  10. ^ "New embassy in New Delhi means a new approach too". Federal News Network. January 21, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  11. ^ U.S. consulates in India Archived 2012-01-19 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]