Oral History at the US EmbassyPosted: February 5, 2016
For my oral history project, I would like to interview an Englishwoman who has worked in the Community Liaison Office at the US Embassy since 1959. The Embassy will be relocating from Mayfair to the Nine Elms neighbourhood at the end of the year, leaving a Grade I listed building behind in favour of a state-of-the-art modern security fortress.
The American presence in Mayfair, Central London, has lasted nearly 250 years. The current building opened in 1960, seen as a Modernist architectural dream. Previously, the Embassy was located in a Georgian mansion across the Square. As this woman is unique among employees for her experiences in both embassy locations as well as in her nationality, I thought she would be a great candidate for an oral history interview.
The Mayfair area, long known as ‘Little America’, will be changed once the Embassy relocates. Interviewing a person who has witnessed so much change over six decades will present an interesting opportunity to attempt to preserve some memories of an area and building about to undergo a dramatic change.