The United States is embarking on a five-year $300 million renovation of its historic embassy compound in Athens.
The United States Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt welcomed Athens Mayor Georgios Kaminis to the embassy to put the project’s first shovels in the ground and kick off the massive renovation of the 1960s-era building that was designed by American architect Walter Gropius.
Referring to the building’s rich heritage and powerful representation of the American presence in Greece, Ambassador Pyatt told those gathered at the ceremony that “We are very proud of the architecturally significant building that has served as the main platform for U.S. diplomacy in Greece since 1961.”
Pyatt continued “In designing the building Gropius consulted with a Greek architect, Pericles Sakkelarios in order, as he put it, to find the spirit of the Greek approach without imitating any classical means. In other words, the architect was looking for a way to convey democracy and the Western values that were born here in Greece through a truly historic landmark building.
The entire project will last five-years and cost a total of $342 million, according to a fact sheet prepared and distributed by the U.S. Embassy that also lists the project’s main contractors and architects.
The groundbreaking ceremony and announcement comes at the beginning of a monumental month for Greek-U.S. relations as all eyes turn to Thessaloniki where the United States is the Honored Nation at the annual Trade Fair, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people from throughout the world.
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