Our view of Shaftesbury Avenue is taken from Piccadilly Circus. This broad thoroughfare, opened in 1886, leads from the Circus to New Oxford Street, which it strikes nearly opposite the beginning of Hart Street, meeting on the way Charing Cross Road at Cambridge Circus, and Great St. Andrew Street further on; and it has proved a great convenience to the public. On the left of the Avenue may be seen the Lyric Theatre, and some way beyond it, the tower of St. Anne's Church, Soho. The fountain in Piccadilly Circus, which stands on the left of our picture, was erected in memory of the great philanthropist, the late Lord Shaftesbury, in 1893. The sculptor was Mr. Alfred Gilbert, R.A. The building to the right, with the handsome columns, is the London Pavilion Music Hall.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896