In 1855 the town council agreed to build Laugavegur (Hot-Spring Road}, in order to facilitate travel to the hot springs in Laugardalur, where Reykjavík people washed their laundry. Soon houses were being built along the road, mostly by Icelandic shopkeepers, as most land in the old town centre was owned by foreigners.

Examples of traders’ premises from various times may be seen on the route along Laugavegur: Laugavegur 21 (1884) is an exam­ ple of the older wooden house, while no. 32 (1904) represents the chalet style The oldest large concrete building in this district is Laugavegur 42 (1911-13). Nearby is a row of typical concrete buildings from the 1920s: Laugavegur 34 by Þorleifur Eyjólfsson  no. 34 A by Sigurður Guðmundsson and nos. 36 and 40 A by Einar Erlendsson An example of commercial premises in post-war modernist style is Laugavegur 18 by architect Sigvaldi Thordarson.