The 1870s and 80s witnessed great rebuilding activity in the heart of Birmingham. Joseph Chamberlain's Birmingham Improvement Scheme involved the opening up of a grand new street, Corporation Street, linking New Street with Aston Road. Old streets were enhanced with the addition of impressive shops, offices and hotels, many of which were built in red brick and terracotta. This fine edifice, the new Corporation market buildings in St Martin's Lane, extending from Jamaica Row to Moat Lane, was built in 1886, and provided a suitable frontage to the existing vegetable market. It is typical of the new generation of buildings that transformed the city, and incorporated the new St Martin's Hotel and a suite of large shops and showrooms.