On December 29th, 1797, John Adams, second President of the United States of America, named William Willis first Consul of the U.S. in Barcelona. His priority mission was to promote trade between the young American democracy and the prosperous industrial region of Catalonia, known for its textile industry. After Belfast and Naples, Barcelona was the third European city to have a US consulate. As years went by, the Consulate consolidated, increasing its commercial and consular functions, and becoming a modern operation. In 1895, shortly before the Spanish-American War, the United States recognized the growing importance of the mission of the Consulate in Barcelona by raising its status to Consulate General.
The Consulate General remained open during the years of the Spanish Civil War. In 1937, when the government of the Spanish Republic moved to Barcelona, the Consulate General was authorized to operate as Embassy of the United States from a provisional seat on Tibidabo Avenue, private residence of American citizen Max Klein. The Consulate General moved to its present premises in the Sarrià neighborhood in June 1992.