London Government Offices

Government Offices .—A few words will suffice for the other West-End Government offices.  The Admiralty , in Whitehall, is the head-quarters of the Naval Department.  The front of the building was constructed about 1726; and the screen, by the brothers Adam, about half-a-century later.  Most of the heads of the Admiralty have official residences connected with the building.  The Horse Guards , a little farther down Whitehall, is the head-quarters of the commander-in-chief.  It was built about 1753, and has an arched entrance leading into St. James's Park. Whitehall, Horse Guards, Government Offices, &c.
(Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament in the distance.)  The two cavalry sentries, belonging either to the Life Guards or to the Oxford Blues, always attract the notice of country visitors, to whom such showy horsemen are a rarity.  The Treasury , the Office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer , the Home Office , the Privy-council Office , and the Board of Trade , together occupy the handsome range of buildings at the corner of Whitehall and Downing Street.  The interior of this building is in great part old; after many alterations and additions, the present front, in the Italian Palazzo style, was built by Sir Charles Barry in 1847.  The Foreign Office , the India Office , and the Colonial Office , occupy the handsome new buildings southward of Downing Street.  The War Office  in Pall Mall is a makeshift arrangement: it occupies the old quarters of the Ordnance Office, and some private houses converted to public use.  After many discussions as to architectural designs, &c., the so-called “Battle of the Styles” ended in a compromise: the Gothic architect (Mr. G. G. Scott, R.A.) was employed; but an Italian design was adopted for the new Foreign and India Offices.