To me, Charing Cross Station is such a fixture of the western end of the Strand that is difficult to think that it is not yet 150 years old. I pass the station often when I leave the tube at Embankment on my way to King’s College. In the nineteenth-century, Charing Cross was an example of industrial modernity overwriting the old city.
Charing Cross Station opened in 1864, and the hotel opened a year later. The Illustrated London News portrayed it as both a glowing symbol of modernity, and a gothic monster, lowering in the heart of the city.