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October 08, 2008

Eero Saarinen Building at Risk?

The mid-century US embassy in Grosvenor Square, London and built by architect Eero Saarinen, may face the wrecking ball or a heavy-handed makeover unless preservationists step in to “list” the structure. For many, this building was not one of Saarinen’s better efforts, while others champion it as another important piece of 20th Century history. For while the history of architecture is certainly important, Hugh Pearman’s, architectural critic for The Sunday Times, London suggests that “buildings acquire personality not only through their architecture, but through the events that they witness.” What events in a mere 50 years? The war protests of the 60s and 70s, the show of support by more than 50,000 mourners following the 9/11 massacre, and indeed the fortification of the Embassy following terrorist threats. --diane

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