Posted: 12:02 am ET
Posted: 12:02 am ET
Posted: 12:29 am EDT
With the support of the Atlantic Council and through an agreement with the Verbundnetz Gas Aktiengesellschaft, a German company, a remarkable segment of the Berlin Wall was delivered to the State Department on Thursday, August 13, 2015, for installation in the U.S. Diplomacy Center. The installation occurred on the 54th anniversary of the closure of the border from East to West Berlin on August 13, 1961.
This unique segment of the Wall is personally signed by individuals who played key roles, including former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former Polish President and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, current German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker. The Wall serves as a permanent reminder of our shared history and the indispensable role of our transatlantic bond for the future.
A special ‘bathtub,’ or base, was constructed on the lower level of the U.S. Diplomacy Center to hold and display the Berlin Wall and its 7-foot base piece.
More photos here via FB.
The United States Diplomacy Center has a construction camera if that’s something that interests you. Watch a time-lapse movie via the construction webcam at http://diplomacy.state.gov/construction/234404.htm
— Domani Spero
On September 3, the State Department held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for the new U.S. Diplomacy Center. The ceremony was hosted by Secretary Kerry and attended by his five predecessors, former Secretaries of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madeleine K. Albright, Henry A. Kissinger, James A. Baker, III, and Colin L. Powell. Wait, somebody’s missing! What happened to Condoleezza Rice?
Whoops! We missed one more!
Via WaPo’s Dana Milbank:
Kerry likely forgot about the 93-year-old Shultz, who, though not in attendance, is still very much alive. Or perhaps Kerry was symbolically eliminating Condi Rice, also absent; she was, after all, a key adviser to the man who defeated him for the presidency in 2004.
The groundbreaking for the future U.S. Diplomacy Center began with a before-noon cocktail reception and ended with the six secretaries outside the 21st Street entrance to the State Department, each holding a silver spade embossed with the State emblem. They dug up about a tablespoon apiece of earth in the 90-degree heat and then were promptly relieved of their digging implements as they exited the construction site via a carpeted walkway. “They wouldn’t even let us keep the shovel,” groused Baker.
Of course not. Kerry had already eliminated one former secretary of state. They couldn’t afford to lose another.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) September 3, 2014
According to the State Department, the USDC (http://diplomacy.state.gov), is a state-of-the-art museum and education center that will dedicate 40,000 square feet “to bringing the story of American diplomacy to life.” This will be our country’s first museum and education center devoted exclusively to exploring the history, practice, and challenges of American diplomacy. The $25 million project is funded by private institutional and individual donors through the Diplomacy Center Foundation.
Last May, the State Department announced the contract for building the center:
The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the award of a $25 million contract to begin construction of the U.S. Diplomacy Center—the nation’s first museum and education center devoted exclusively to exploring the history, practice, and challenges of U.S. Diplomacy. The project is privately funded with donations to build a 21st century, state-of-the-art glass pavilion that will become a new public entrance at the Department of State’s headquarters.
GSA will oversee construction and awarded the construction contract to Gilbane Building Company through an open and competitive process. The architectural firm of Beyer Blinder Belle provided the modern concept design. Construction is set to begin early summer 2014 and it will take 18 months to construct the U.S. Diplomacy Center.
Something else to look forward to in 2016!
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