[reaction: see text] The synthesis of a series of NHC building blocks that can then be incorporated into more complicated structures by palladium catalysis is reported. This approach is used for the synthesis of three amino acids containing NHC side chains. The ability to use the amino acids in solid-phase peptide synthesis to make NHC-containing peptides is also demonstrated. Additionally, the NHC side chain can be deprotected and coordinated to a catalytically active transition metal. Finally, it is illustrated that the building blocks participate in Suzuki coupling to provide access to substituted NHC ligands.