The embassy was designed by American architect John M. Johansen, in consultation with Irish architect Michael Scott.It was constructed between 1962 and 1964 on a triangular site at the intersection between Elgin Road and Pembroke Road. The building is circular in plan,incorporating modern interpretations of early Celtic and later Irish buildings with contemporary, bold American design as well as symbolising the first American flag, and is considered a Dublin landmark. There are five floors at the complex, two underground and three above ground, plus a smaller sixth storey on the rooftop.
On 23 May 2011, a 2005 model Cadillac Presidential State Car was involved in an incident when it got stuck on a ramp as it exited the U.S. Embassy during an official visit by President Barack Obama. It is understood that the wheelbase of the vehicle was too great for the ramp, and it had to be towed off the ramp as a large crowd looked on. President Obama left the embassy through an alternative exit. The U.S. Secret Service later stated that the car was a spare, and that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were in another vehicle. Coincidentally, this occurred on the 47th anniversary of the official opening of the building on 23 May 1964.