President Obama Dedicates GSA-developed Mission to United Nations

By Renée Miscione
General Services Administration

NEW YORK, March 29, 2011 – President Barack Obama delivered the keynote speech for the dedication of the new Ronald H. Brown U.S. Mission to the United Nations Building in New York City.

GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson and other GSA representatives joined Department of State officials and other dignitaries for the special ceremony. Former President Bill Clinton also spoke during the short formal program.

Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, acknowledged Johnson and the new building in her opening remarks.

"I’m also glad that we’re joined today by Martha Johnson, the Administrator of GSA," Rice said.."This building’s architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, wanted to design an iconic tower that would become a landmark in New York City, and they have done a truly remarkable job."

Rice also added, "It’s a particular personal honor for me to be the first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations to work in this magnificent new building, with its beautiful architecture and its extraordinary art."

The event, attended by many family members and friends of the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, took place at the new mission, across the street from the United Nations.
The new U.S. Mission, developed by GSA, is a 26-story, 147,000 square-foot building that will provide the Department of State with expanded office, meeting, and conference space in a new secure state-of-the-art facility. The structure was designed by the late renowned architect Charles Gwathmey, of Gwathmey Siegel and Associates in New York.

The *$105 million project involved GSA relocating the U.S. Mission operations to temporary leased space while the antiquated 1960-era building was demolished and the new one built. Department of State employees moved into the new building last fall.

Ronald Harmon Brown served as secretary of Commerce from January 1993 until April 1996, when he was killed in a plane crash in Croatia while on an official trade mission. Brown was the first African-American to hold the position.

*$105 million refers specifically to the funding appropriated by Congress to GSA through the Federal Buildings Fund for the design, construction, and construction-related services.

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