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Built out of New England granite, the former Charles Street Jail is a prime institutional example of the Boston Granite Style of the 1800s.

Historic Jail Turned into Hotel

Wow, talk about a switch. The Charles Street Jail here in Boston operated for almost 140 years as a prison and now this August is being reborn as a four star luxury hotel. Don't get the wrong idea though, this building was never your run-of-the-mill prison. Listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, it was constructed in 1851 and followed a humanitarian architectural plan featuring larger cells, a 90-foot(!) atrium, and thirty foot arched windows allowing for lots of light and ventilation. Previous notable occupants, before guests had to pay for the privilege of staying there, included Sacco and Vanzetti, Joseph "The Animal" Barbosa, and former Boston Mayor James Curley. I'll give the owners credit for having a good sense of irony, they rechristened the building The Liberty Hotel. Good show. It will feature 300 guest rooms including ten suites with river views and three distinctive venues for dining and drinks. Former prisoners would be shocked by the amenities visitors now enjoy. We have no shortage of historic buildings here in New England and I love it when these high quality structures are converted for modern use.


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