The Batterjee House is the center of a special relationship between the KSA & US
The Batterjee House located in Jeddah is one of the most well-
known historical places ingrained in the memory of Americans who spent time visiting or residing in Saudi Arabia, of its history of hosting the first US consulate in the Kingdom. It was built in 1860 and was at first owned by Sheikh Omar Bajubair for a period of 50 years, then the ownership was transferred to Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Batterjee in 1909.
The Batterjee House was also used as the headquarters of the British Company for the Development of Petroleum Resources in Western Arabia. Later it was taken by the Arabian American Oil Co. or Aramco, to be used as a residence for its employees.
Also, between the1940-1952, the United States government needed to rent the house to be used as the headquarters of their first US embassy in the KSA. And during that time, the US ambassador offered to buy the house’s main door for $10,000, which still exists to this day.
The house consists of 3 floors, with an additional neighboring house belonging to the Batterjee family. And the second building was used as the headquarters of the first British mission to explore for oil in KSA. It also contains a collection of items in the house that dates to 1917, 100-year old printers, guns, and glassware from the Ottoman era, Copperware that goes back to the 7th and 8th centuries, and also coins of the first, second, and third Saudi states.
The Batterjee House is considered one of the most famous places in the area, with around 200 pieces of antiques and items of interest. The house also includes the first Saudi phone, bearing the Kingdom’s two swords and a palm motif pattern. And it has become a tourist destination in Saudi Arabia, as it’s the first nucleus of the historical Saudi US relationship, and an incubator of the world’s biggest oil companies, that transformed the history of the region and the whole world, So the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and the municipality of Jeddah were enthusiastic about restoring the two buildings. And the house is now being completely restored to its original condition, as the house is considered one of the greatest houses in the Al-Sham neighborhood in Jeddah.