The American Embassy in New Delhi stands as an example of Indian-American collaboration in design and craftsmanship, symbolic of the long friendship between India and the United States.
In designing the Embassy complex, Architect Edward D. Stone, also the designer of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., sought to capture the best in South Asian architecture and blend it with modern Western concepts. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright called it one of the finest buildings in the last hundred years.
Planning of the Embassy complex began in the early 1950’s with allocation of a 28-acre site in the Chanakyapuri (Diplomatic Enclave) area of New Delhi. The Embassy complex includes the Chancery, the Roosevelt House (official residence of the U.S. Ambassador), office space and living accommodations.
In September 1, 1956, the Chief Justice of the United States, Earl Warren, laid the corner stone and he expressed the hope that the structure would become “a temple of peace”.
The building was formally opened in January 5, 1959 in the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and other distinguished guests. At the opening ceremony Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker said: “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.”