The Swedish Embassy is showing off a panorama of its new building which will be built in downtown DC. For decades after the Great Depression, countries had taken over huge 19th century houses near DuPont Circle, called Embassy Row. But those houses have now been declared eye sores, like the chancery owned by Togo. A window looks broken, paint is chipping off, and there are other disrepairs. Togo can't afford a staff to take care of the embassy building and lot. It seems to be more an act of diplomacy than necessity because no one has lived in the chancery and Togo has more pressing worries. But the government of Togo better act soon, because the US State Dept. has the power to revoke diplomatic privileges and levy taxes, as happened with the Philippines. Manila knows owes the US government thousands of dollars in property taxes, and Pakistan may be next. This B&B used to the be Embassy of Taiwan, and its owner spent three years renovating it and now he has a vested interest in the neighborhood and he wants the government to start getting tough about other buildings being renovated.
GlobalPost.com is now PRI.org
GlobalPost and PRI have joined forces to expand in-depth global news reporting to create a more informed, connected and empathetic world.Learn why See GlobalPost stories Dismiss