Teach Through Educational Travel: 10 Downing Street
One of the most famous leadership residences in the world, 10 Downing Street, SW 1, London, England, is home to the British Prime Minister, and therefore, Her Majesty’s Government. There have been 52 Prime Ministers in the history of the United Kingdom, and 10 Downing Street, located in Westminster near Buckingham Palace, has been the home of British Prime Ministers since 1735! A little history – No. 10 was given by George II in 1732 to Sir Robert Walpole, who requested that the buildings (originally 3 houses) be given to the office of the Prime Minister (officially, First Lord of the Treasury), instead of to him personally. Selfless!
- 10 Downing Street is quite active in social media – on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr – even its own TV station (Number10TV). But some things never change – there’s a Chief Mouser of Downing Street, the latest in a long line – and his name is Larry. Check out these photos of this famous feline. What is it about pets that captures the public’s heart, no matter the political beliefs?
- Take a tour of 10 Downing Street. Explore all the rooms – which are your favorites (and why?). Did you know that the famous black front door can only be opened from the inside? Check out some other cool facts about 10 Downing Street.
- 10 Downing Street is one of the most important political addresses in the world. Can you name other important political buildings, globally? Break into small groups, do research to find at least one building per continent (excluding Antarctica, of course), and make a list. Discuss your findings with the class. What makes a building famous – the events, the people, or another factor?
- But it’s not only a residence, 10 Downing Street. It’s the center of politics, both local and global; the location of important meetings, gatherings, entertainment, deal-making, global diversity…and art? Watch this video of the hanging of famous works of art. What do you think the role of government buildings is, regarding the arts?