Charles Eliot (1859-1897) was born in Cambridge, the son of Charles W. Eliot, later President of Harvard University. He studied at Harvard’s new Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, then apprenticed with Frederick Law Olmsted from 1883-2885. In 1886, he opened his own practice as one of the country’s few landscape architects.
In 1891 Eliot helped create The Trustees of Public Reservations, today The Trustees of Reservations, which worked on behalf of land conservancy. In 1893, Eliot became a partner in Olmsted, Olmsted, & Eliot. Reaching beyond Olmsted’s original “Emerald Necklace,” Eliot developed a comprehensive regional park system for Boston, the first of its kind and a model for other cities. Eliot died of spinal meningitis in 1897 while supervising the construction of Hartford’s Keney Park. In 1899, Harvard University’s landscape architecture program was established in his memory.