Piccadilly Circus is a busy London intersection and popular meeting place. It lies between the neighborhoods of St. James (south) and Soho (north) in the borough of Westminster. The crossroads was formed in 1819 by the crossing of Piccadilly with Regent Street. The circus lost its circular form in 1886 with the construction of Shaftesbury Avenue. As a traffic hub and neon-lit gathering place, Piccadilly Circus attracts visitors from throughout the world, many of whom sprawl on the steps of its stone island, which is crowned by the 1893 aluminum statue of Eros. The intersection's first electric advertisements appeared in 1910, and from 1923 giant electric billboards were set up on the facade of the London Pavilion (then a theatre). Many of the surrounding buildings were redeveloped to house retail shops in the 1980s. The name Piccadilly arises from a tailor named Robert Baker, who owned a shop on the Strand, in the late 16th century. He amassed a large fortune by making and selling piccadills (also called picadils), that were then in fashion.
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