Today's Martin Place was built in several phases. Until the late 19th century, only the section between Pitt Street and Castlereagh Street existed in anything resembling the present form, as a short street named Moore Street. Between Pitt Street and George Street there was only a small laneway (similar to nearby surviving laneways such as Angel Place or Hosking Place). In 1863, construction began on the present General Post Office Building on the south side of the laneway. The building was constructed in stages, and when the design changed to provide for a main façade on the longer north side (instead of facing George Street to the west), there were concomitant proposals to widen the existing laneway into a street connected to Moore Street. A fire which destroyed properties to the north of the laneway provided the impetus for the construction, and in 1892 (a year after the Venetian-Italianate-style General Post Office was completed) the widened street was officially opened and named "Martin Place", in honour of New South Wales premier and Chief Justice James Martin. The General Post Office occupied the entire southern frontage of the street.