10 Adam Street – London, England - Atlas Obscura

10 Adam Street

England's most famous front door has an accidental doppelganger. 


Number 10 Downing Street is easily one of the most famous addresses in England. With its distinguished black front door, it has served as the official locale of British prime ministers for almost 300 years. Playing host to a multitude of historical icons, it has become a quintessential symbol of political power to many.

Visitors to London flock from far and wide in the hope of capturing a souvenir snapshot of this chronicled hot spot. Unfortunately, due to security measures, street access and close-up photographs are almost impossible in modern times. However, by a sheer stroke of luck, 10 Downing Street has a much lesser-known lookalike in the form of nearby 10 Adam Street.

Around half a mile away from the heavily guarded prime minister’s residence, situated just off The Strand, 10 Adam Street is easily accessible and readily available to pose for friend fooling photographs at all times.

Although not strictly identical to its more famous counterpart, you could certainly be forgiven for looking twice. However, this is no copycat attempt, as both built in the late 18th century, the two buildings are simply coincidental contemporaries.

10 Adam Street, a Georgian building, now used as offices, was designed by 18th-century architect Robert Adam, after whom the street is named, as part of a London district known as “Adelphi.” With its name derived from the Greek for ‘”brothers,” this area as it stands today is the legacy of three architect-siblings, the Adam brothers, whose work shaped and dominated this area. Construction work for the Adelphi development began in 1768, with the real 10 Downing Street being renovated between 1766 and 1772.

The front doors of both properties were installed during a similar time period, hence their very passable similarity. Following a targeted mortar bomb attack in 1991, 10 Downing Street’s original oak door was replaced by a steel blast-proof one. In keeping with tradition, this reinforced replica was made to look identical to its predecessor, which is now stored at the Churchill Museum and is maintained by an official No. 10 cleaner. 

Know Before You Go

The nearest tube stations are Charing Cross, Embankment, and Temple. 10 Adam Street is part of a working office building so please show the greatest of respect to the building and surrounding area when visiting.

No.10 is at the end of Adam Street adjacent to the Strand, just across from the Adelphi Theatre. 

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September 13, 2019

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