Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jail House Rock

I visited a very historic place this past weekend, but until I get my act together and download my photos, I thought I would tell you about a fun new hotel in Boston. I used to live in the Beacon Hill neighborhood for many years but for some reason, I don't remember the Charles Street jail. It's not a place I walked by everyday but I'm certainly taking note of it now that it's been turned into the fabulously chic Liberty Hotel.

There will be iron bars on the first two floors of the building, including the ballroom. The prison guard catwalks, which once flanked the cell blocks, now overlook the lobby and were described by the new owner as a great place for people watching...although now they probably won't have guns pointed at you this time.

Completed in 1851 by the architect Gridley James Fox Bryant on a site at the foot of Beacon Hill, the Charles Street Jail is a national, state and city landmark. The designation obligated the developers to keep such details as the bars, shown above, on the first and second floors. The sleeping arrangements will be a bit more hospitable than previously as well. There will be 18 guestrooms in the old building shown below and 300 more rooms available in a new tower adjoining the old jail building.

While the rooms in the old jail have exposed brick and bars, the rooms in the new tower are not reflective of the jail except for references in interior design, as in the imprints of jail bars on the custom draperies below. Let's just hope they updated the bathrooms too!

Photos by Erik Jacobs


Post a Comment