Chambers Street runs parallel and just to the south of the Royal Mile. Its neo-classical, almost French-chateau architecture dates from the second half of the 19th century, when a slum-clearing programme destroyed a densely built residential area. Only the University's 'Old College' at the east end of Chambers Street predates the street itself. The street is named after William Chambers of Glenormiston (guy on the pedestal), the Lord Provost of Edinburgh who backed the 1867 Edinburgh Improvement Act that led to the slum clearances, which led to the street... get it?
The building in the background is called Minto House; it originally consisted of a church (to the right) and a large residence (to the left). It is owned by the University and houses the subjects of Architecture and History of Art. Directly opposite Minto House is the Royal Museum, now closed (see 17 May).