After the huge fire in 1872 (Meiji 5), the Meiji government designated Ginza as a model of modernization with brick buildings instead of wood and better connected streets. The government also wanted Ginza to be the center of Westernization.
Irish-born architect Thomas Waters was commissioned to rebuild the Ginza and is responsible for the design of the many 2 to 3 story Georgian style brick buildings. The area was known as "Renga Gai" [煉瓦街] meaning "brick town" at the time.
The photo above is taken in 1910 (Meiji 43) where horses were used to pull the trams on the tracks. Horse pulled trams came into public use in 1897 (Meiji 30).