Brief History

In 1952, the U.S. government decided to open a consulate in Düsseldorf the capital of the new Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The original consulate building was designed by the famous American architects Skidmore, Owing & Merill and was built in 1954. The building, which still stands on Cecilienallee, was designed in a typical post-war style and influenced several other American consulates and cultural facilities. It was used as a full service consulate until 1987, when the U.S. presence was reduced to only a Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) section, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The FCS left the original building and moved to Düsseldorf-Heerdt on the other side of the Rhine. In 1994, Richard Holbrooke, former American ambassador to Germany, played an instrumental role in bringing a full Consulate General back to Düsseldorf. Because there was no need for a large consulate after the end of the Cold War, the new Consulate General reopened in a rented commercial space in Derendorf and the original, now landmarked, building was sold to investors in 1996. In 2000, the Consulate General moved to its current location. In September 2007, the Public Affairs Section moved from the former Amerika Haus Köln to Düsseldorf and was integrated into the Consulate General, where it continues to promote German-American relations throughout North Rhine-Westphalia.