British Embassy

Upon its construction in 1931, the British Embassy became the first embassy on what would become Embassy Row.

During the early 20th century, the British government procured a large tract of land off of Massachusetts Avenue in order to establish their new embassy. At the time, the area was underdeveloped in comparison with other DC neighborhoods; the British government became the first nation to build an embassy in the area that would later become known as Embassy Row.

Designed around 1928 by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, the British Embassy was built of brick and stone in a neo-Georgian Palladian style, meant to resemble an English country manor. The embassy is situated in a compound that is home to the ambassador's residence and the old and new chanceries. By the 1950s, the old chancery was deemed too cramped, and the new chancery, designed by chief architect Eric Bedford, was constructed between 1955 and 1961, with Queen Elizabeth II laying the foundation stone on October 19, 1957. Part of the old chancery was converted into staff quarters, and the rest is currently occupied by the offices of the British Council.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
Within Massachusetts Avenue Historic District



3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW