SEVERE WX : Winter Storm Warning - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Trump slams 'lousy location' of London embassy, ahead of summer visit

President Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of the new US embassy in London, ahead of a planned visit to the UK ...

Posted: Apr 30, 2018 4:02 AM
Updated: Apr 30, 2018 4:02 AM

President Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of the new US embassy in London, ahead of a planned visit to the UK in July.

The billion-dollar embassy moved from its long-standing site in Grosvenor Square, central London, to its new home at Nine Elms, south of the city, in January.

But during a rally in Michigan on Saturday, Trump criticized the move. "We had the best site in all of London," he told supporters, before adding that now, "We have an embassy in a lousy location."

Trump told the rally that the previous site in Grosvenor Square was "sold for like 250 million" -- but that organizers "spent all of that money, plus a lot more, to build a new embassy in a lousy location."

His comments come ahead of a planned visit to the UK on July 13, Trump's first trip to Britain since becoming President, the White House and Downing Street announced last week.

It will not be a state visit -- a move welcomed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who told British talk show host Robert Peston on Sunday that he was glad "the red carpet will not be rolled out" for Trump.

Trump and Khan have frequently traded barbs in the past, notably when the US President appeared to misconstrue a statement by the mayor in response to a terror attack in London last year.

Trump's visit follows months of back-and-forth negotiations over the trip, with Trump canceling a previous visit to London in January to officially open the new embassy.

"I was supposed to cut the ribbon," said Trump at Saturday's rally, before blaming the embassy deal on the Obama and Bush administrations.

In fact, the decision to move out of the Grosvenor Square building in the high-end Mayfair district was taken under the Bush administration in 2008, principally because the building was proving harder to secure in an age of terrorist threats -- and also, in small part at least, because the US government did not wholly own it.

British property law historically allows the ground underneath buildings to be held by people and entities other than the owners of the bricks and mortar above. In this case, the land is owned by the Duke of Westminster, whose property empire controls much of the land in central London, and is leased back to the US at a nominal -- or "peppercorn" -- rent.

"We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square," then-Ambassador Robert Tuttle said.

"In the end, we realized that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility."

The historic Mayfair site is now set to be converted into a luxury hotel by Qatari investors.

From concrete to glass

The new embassy is a world away from its former concrete home, which was designed by Finnish-American modernist architect Eero Saarinen.

The 12-storey glass cube occupies an almost five-acre site, in a former industrial area south of the River Thames.

Security requirements are tight -- it is set back 100 feet from the street and boasts a semi-circular pond as a security measure.

Designed by Philadelphia architecture firm KieranTimberlake, the embassy houses around 800 staff and is expected to receive 1,000 visitors daily.

The building was paid for by selling other US government properties in London.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 137600

Reported Deaths: 1877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29040464
Washington19216179
Marion16668247
Clackamas11989141
Lane8724113
Jackson712295
Umatilla697673
Deschutes517140
Yamhill329448
Malheur319855
Linn319449
Polk256340
Klamath252446
Josephine182636
Benton181714
Douglas175944
Jefferson173425
Union114617
Wasco111723
Columbia107518
Lincoln102717
Coos98315
Hood River97621
Morrow96310
Clatsop7075
Crook65213
Baker5825
Tillamook3692
Curry3245
Lake2485
Grant2171
Harney1806
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3147735

Reported Deaths: 36846
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles106550515184
San Bernardino2628581594
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2255582344
Orange2214932625
Santa Clara964351181
Kern89095590
Fresno847441043
Sacramento828611157
Alameda69693886
Ventura64404507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54416487
Stanislaus43938788
Tulare42759531
Monterey37285259
San Mateo33731340
San Francisco30027278
Santa Barbara26514264
Solano26494111
Imperial25562493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24761247
Kings19760160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16437151
Madera13781151
Santa Cruz12687130
Marin11930163
Yolo11014138
Shasta9920129
Butte9711134
El Dorado800259
Sutter792783
Napa782847
Lassen526916
San Benito514348
Yuba504929
Tehama446846
Tuolumne344340
Nevada329674
Mendocino325635
Amador304232
Lake268132
Humboldt249425
Glenn198522
Colusa18549
Calaveras167223
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8732
Plumas6055
Modoc3873
Mariposa3464
Trinity3054
Sierra880
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 32°
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 36°
Medford
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 14°
Slick roads possible into Monday morning
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events