London Architecture

10 Downing Street

Formerly known as Hampden House
Kynvet House
10 Downing Street
London, England SW1
Basic Information
Type Government Building
Floors: 5
Neighborhood: Whitehall
More Information
  • The mail box outside reads, "First Lord of the Treasury." Technically speaking, it is his official residence. But since the Prime Minister is also the First Lord of the Treasury, it is the de facto Prime Minister's residence.
  • The building is made of yellow bricks. These were blackened by decades of exposure to sooty London air. They were cleaned in the 1960's, and painted black because the public couldn't cope with the yellow color.
  • It is said that the front door of the building can only be opened from the inside.
  • ~1500: The Axe Brewery is abandoned and the land redeveloped.
  • 1581: First record of a residential home in this location.
  • 1698: Whitehall Palace burns down.
  • 1732: The building is designated the official home of the Prime Minister.
  • 1732: Number 10 is linked to a larger mansion to create a single building.
  • 1735: Mister Chicken moves out. The first British Prime Minister moves in.
  • 1894: Electric lights are installed.
  • ~1960: Renovated to prevent collapse. The façade was preserved, but everything else gutted and rebuilt.
  • 7 February, 1991: The building is attacked by a mortar launched from a nearby van by Irish terrorists. The bomb landed in the backyard and blew out the windows.
  • 1993: The first computer cables are installed.