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Adelphi, London facts for kids

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View of the south front of the new buildings called Adelphi RP-P-OB-70.899
The Adam Brothers' Adelphi (1768–72) was London's first neoclassical building. Eleven large houses fronted a vaulted terrace, with wharves beneath.
11 Adelphi Terrace 2015
Current view of the remaining building at 11 Adelphi Terrace, the furthest left house of the original buildings when viewed from the river.

Adelphi ( from the Greek ἀδελφοί adelphoi, meaning "brothers") is a district of the City of Westminster in London. The small district includes the streets of Adelphi Terrace, Robert Street and John Adam Street. Of rare use colloquially, Adelphi is grouped with Aldwych as the greater Strand district (a main street of London between the two areas and those immediately adjoining) which for many decades formed a parliamentary constituency and civil registration district.

Adelphi Buildings

Alexander Nasmyth - A prospect of London (1826)
A prospect of London by Alexander Nasmyth, 1826. The Adelphi buildings can be seen to the left of Waterloo Bridge.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Adelphi, John Adam Street
The art deco Adelphi building from the 1930s, located at 1-10 John Adam Street

The district is named after the Adelphi Buildings, a block of 24 unified neoclassical terrace houses occupying the land between The Strand and the River Thames in the parish of St Martin in the Fields, which also included a headquarters building for the "Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce" (now generally known as the Royal Society of Arts). They were built between 1768–72, by the Adam brothers (John, Robert, James and William Adam), to whom the buildings' Greek-derived name refers. The ruins of Durham House on the site were demolished for their construction. The nearby Adelphi Theatre is named after the Adelphi Buildings. Robert Adam was influenced by his extensive visit to Diocletian's Palace in Dalmatia, and applied some of this influence to the design of the neoclassical Adelphi Buildings. Many of the Adelphi Buildings were demolished in the early 1930s and replaced with the New Adelphi, a monumental Art Deco building designed by the firm of Collcutt & Hamp; buildings remaining from the old Adelphi include 11 Adelphi Terrace (formerly occupied by numismatic specialists A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd) and the Royal Society of Arts (which has expanded to incorporate two of the former houses). Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop was located here in the 1940s.

Notable residents

in media

  • Fictional detective Gideon Fell, created by John Dickson Carr, lived at no. 1, Adelphi Terrace.
  • David Copperfield, created by Charles Dickens, lived in Adelphi.

The Adelphi building was used for some scenes in ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot episode The Theft of the Royal Ruby .

Notable residents

South Australian Colonization Commission

The South Australian Colonization Commission (1834–1843) had their offices at 6 Adelphi Terrace in 1840. Rowland Hill was secretary to this body, and it was during this period that he devised his penny postage scheme.

London School of Economics

The London School of Economics (LSE) held its first classes in October 1895, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi, before setting up more permanent operations in Number 10 Adelphi Terrace. By 1920, the LSE had moved a few blocks east, to its current Clare Market address. While in Adelphi, the LSE’s scholars and students were active in the surrounding neighbourhood and community.

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