The earliest and finest of four similar and adjacent brick Tudor apartment houses, Strathcona-on-Charles symbolized the transformation of the Charles River in response to the creation of the Charles River Drive, now Memorial Drive. Developed by the Cambridge Park Commission beginning in 1894 to the designs of Charles Eliot, the parkway reclaimed the river from industrial purposes (such as the gas works that previously stood here). The magnificent tunnel of sycamores in front of the apartment buildings resembles the corridor of plane trees along London's Thames River, the model for Eliot's transformation. Entered from a raised terrace, the Strathcona uses red brick with cast stone–trimmed Jacobean bays to animate the curving facade of this six-story building. These courtyarded apartment houses provide light-filled rooms with enviable views over the river to the Harvard playing fields beyond.
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