When James Watson Gerard arrived in Berlin in Autumn 1913 to take up his duties as U.S. Ambassador, his first mission was to find offices and housing. Unlike other countries represented in Germany, the United States did not own or rent property in Berlin. While no fixed embassy building existed, the U.S. Government gave the Ambassador an allowance with which to contract his own arrangements.
The house on Wilhelmplatz, rented for use as the Embassy
James Gerard, My Four Years in Germany (George H. Doran Company, New York, 1917).
Gerard found a house on Wilhelmplatz, opposite the Chancellor’s palace and the Foreign Office, where he planned to live and set up Embassy offices. However, until the renovations were completed in January 1914, Gerard and his wife, Mary, lived and worked in the Hotel Esplanade.