American Embassy in Belize City. I am guessing about 1976 due to the bicentennial flag flying under the American flag... Second photo 1950's-ish
The old Historic United States Embassy.
The wooden structure built in New England in 1886, dismantled and shipped to Belize where it became the private dwelling of P.W. Schufeldt until the 1930s. It was then sold to the U.S. Government. Severely damaged by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and by termites. It was infested with termites, it closed down for awhile to deal with the termites with a huge tent covering the whole building. Was the last remaining wooden U.S. Embassy in the world. it was at the corner of Hutson St. and Gabourel Lane, right next to St. Catherine's Academy.
It was located on Hudson Street next to the Baptist Manse.
There used to be some benches outside, painted grey, that those who were applying for U.S. Visas sat and waited for your turn to be interviewed.
You were buzzed into a door where the office were cold inside, to be interviewed.
The building was white, and grey trimmed, with white galvanized metal gates. There was a tree in the corner that would have a strong smell during its blooming season. Not sure of the name. Also I Never liked the sound of their generator, as it would indicate that the evening would be by candle light.
When I was a Marine Security Guard, this was the last standing/working wooden American Embassy in the world. It was right by the high school... SCA.
Many of us got our visas to travel to the United States at this building, I remember this so well, unfortunately it's no longer there, you will need to travel to the capital Belmopan to get a visa today. Is this where you got your visa??? First time yes (office on the right) and they had a woman (do not know rank, US citizen) who stayed in Belize later that gave me a six hour overlay visa for Miami when I went to study in the UK. I got a better visa in the UK and made it a point to tell her. The dog felt I was going to stay in the USA.
The original was brought in by ship in pieces and reassembled. Then it was sold to my neighbor a Hunter's Lane. The house was moved there and is still standing today. You can enter Hunters Lane from d Kelly Street at Freetown entrance, a big white house with a white mailbox on the gate. The owner is Mr. Gaynair. Michelle Rosado
November 2020: After centuries of existence and years as the home of the US Embassy in Belize City known as the Chancery Building, the old colonial structures on Gabourel Lane are being torn down
Contractor says it will take him a couple of weeks to demolish the historic buildings that once housed the US Embassy in Belize. Historical records indicate that the first U.S. Consulate in Belize was established in February, 1848 at the Gabourel Lane site. On December 11, 2006 a new U.S. Embassy building was opened in the capital city of Belmopan and the chancery building in Belize City was officially decomissioned and since sold to a private party. This former chancery building on Gabourel Lane in Belize City was established on February 12, 1848 as the U.S. Consulate to Belize.
The building, originally erected in 1866 in New England, was later dismantled and sent as ballast in freighters to Belize City where it was reassembled as a private home. In the mid 1930s, the U.S. purchased the building from P.W. Shufeldt, the most prominent U.S. citizen in Belize City, to serve as a consulate in what was then British Honduras. The first vice consul to work on the ground floor, Culver Gidden, later married Shufeldt’s daughter, whose family was living upstairs. Six Gidden children were born in this building before the family's transfer at the end of World War II. During those parsimonious times, it was P.W. Shufeldt who sponsored the annual 4th of July party on these grounds because the Vice Consul had no funds for such an event. The original building had porches only on the back and front, and Hutson Street was a pathway from Gabourel Lane to the sea front. Termites and the tropical elements have always been a problem and much of the building has had to be replaced, piecemeal, over the years. In the 1950s, the impressive Corinthian columns had to be replaced with plain flat wooden boards due to termite damage and because no cabinetmaker in Belize at that time could duplicate the decorative design. This handsome building has survived numerous hurricanes, fires and other vicissitudes of local life. In 1931, the building was badly damaged by a hurricane. As a result of tidal wave action the building was flooded up to the second story. In the same hurricane then Consul G. Russell Taggart was injured when the building collapsed and later died. Likewise, in 1961, Hurricane Hattie’s high water and winds caused extensive damage to the building. This old building has taken all in stride, including the foot of mud left behind by Hurricane Greta in 1978. Since Belizean independence in 1981 until November 17, 2006, this building, with various additions, served as the U.S. Embassy and was THE last such wooden U.S. embassy building in the world.
Worked the there as Consul 1983-1984.
For more photos of the old Embassy, click here.
Photos below courtesy George Villanueva