The station was opened on 30 May 1870 by the DR (now the District line) when the railway extended its line from Westminster to Blackfriars. The construction of the new section of the DR was planned in conjunction with the building of the Victoria Embankment and was achieved by the cut and cover method of roofing over a trench. Due to its proximity to the South Eastern Railway's Charing Cross station, the station was originally called Charing Cross. On 10 March 1906, the BS&WR (now the Bakerloo line) opened with its deep-level platforms beneath and at ninety degrees to the platforms of the DR. Although an interchange was provided between the two separate railways, the BS&WR named its station differently as Embankment. On 6 April 1914, the CCE&HR (now a part of the Northern line) opened a one stop extension south from its terminus at Charing Cross. The extension was constructed to facilitate a better interchange between the BS&WR and CCE&HR. A new station building was constructed that Sir John Betjeman described as "the most charming of all the Edwardian and neo-Georgian Renaissance stations." For the opening of the CCE&HR extension, the deep-level parts of the station were named Charing Cross (Embankment) although the sub-surface platforms remained as Charing Cross. In 1915, this was rectified by changing the name of the whole station to Charing Cross. On 4 August 1974, the station was once again renamed Charing Cross Embankment. Then, on 12 September 1976, it became Embankment, so that the merged Strand and Trafalgar Square stations could be named Charing Cross.
The Victoria Embankment's construction started in 1865 and was completed in 1870 under the direction of Joseph Bazalgette. It was part of a three part work, the other two parts being the Albert Embankment, from the Lambeth end of Westminster Bridge to Vauxhall; and the Chelsea Embankment, extending from Millbank to the Cadogen Pier at Chelsea, close by Battersea Bridge. It was a project of the Metropolitan Board of Works. The contractor for the work was Thomas Brassey. The original impetus was the need to provide London with a modern sewerage system. Another major consideration was the relief of congestion on the Strand and Fleet Street. In December 1878 Victoria Embankment became the first street in Britain to be permanently lit by electricity. The light was provided by 20 Yablochkov candles powered by a Gramme AC generator. Previously the street had been lit by gas, and in June 1884, gas lighting was re-established as electricity was not competitive.The station has help points, cash machines, Euro cash machines, payphones, wi-fi and escalators.