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Granite In The Wild: Boston – Beacon Hill: Liberty Hotel

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Granite In The Wild: Boston – Beacon Hill: Liberty Hotel

Each week we bring you an image randomly snatched from Flickr that shows Sones In The Wild.

Just a little something to break up the norm.

This week’s stone is:

Boston - Beacon Hill: Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel, located at 215 Charles Street, opened in 2007 in the former Charles Street Jail. Redesigned by Cambridge Seven Associates and Ann Beha Architects, the former jail is now a 300-room luxury hotel.

The Charles Street Jail, also known as the Suffolk County Jail, was constructed between 1848 and 1851 to the "Boston Granite" style design of Boston architect Gridley James Fox Bryant penologist Reverend Louis Dwight, based on the 1790s humanitarian scheme pioneered in England known as the Auburn Plan. The original jail was built in the form of a cross with four wings of Quincy granite extending from the central, octagonal rotunda with a 90-foot-tall atrium. The wings allowed for segregation of prisoners by sex and offense, and the thirty 33-foot tall arched windows provided ventilation and light. The original jail contained 220 granite cells, each 8 by 10 feet.

Before finally closing in 1990, after a 1973 US District Court ruling that its overcrowded conditions violated the constitutional rights of the prisoners, the jail housed a number of famous inmates including Malcom X, James Michael Curley, Sacco and Vanzetti, suffragists who protested Woodrow Wilson’s Boston visit in 1919, and World War II prisoners of war from he German submarines U-234 and U-873.

After closing, the landmark, owned by adjacent Massachusetts General Hospital sat vacant for years. As part of the transformation, a dramatic cupola, originally drafted by Bryant to bring light and air into the rotunda that was initially reduced in size and eventually removed in 1949, was rebuilt. The design features the jail’s historic catwalks as balconies overlooking the atrium, which was preserved as the lobby. Cells were converted to guest rooms and preserved in as nooks for the hotel’s flagship restaurant, the Clink. The former exercise yard was turned into a private landscaped courtyard. The old "drunk tank" on the first floor was converted into a bar, Alibi. A newly added 16-story tower addition holds most of the guest rooms.

National Register #80000670 (1980)

Originally Posted by wallyg

Tagged: , Liberty Hotel , hotel , Charles Street Jail , jail , Suffolk County Jail , Starwood , Starwood Hotels , Luxury Collection , Gridley James Fox Bryant , Reverend Louis Dwight , Auburn Plan , Boston Granite , Gridley JF Bryant , Cambridge Seven Associates , Ann Beha Architects , Beacon Hill , west end , Boston , Massachusetts , U.S. National Register of Historic Places , NRHP , National Register of Historic Places , landmark , lobby , atrium , catwalk


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