Built in 1951, the Charles Street Jail housed some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Today, in its current incarnation as the Liberty Hotel, Luxury Collection, this Beacon Hill hotel accommodates the city’s hippest travelers. From the lobby, guests gaze up into the towering 90-foot-high atrium, circled by the jail’s original catwalks. Many of the guestrooms are located in the old cell block.
Bill Rooney Studio of New York, designed the recent guestroom renovation with an eye for both novel whimsies and historically accurate details. Custom hospitality-grade casegoods were carefully crafted to look like they had a storied past, and Axminster carpet in the suites includes an antique clock and key design. Art and accessories, such as scales of justice on the guestroom desks, and throw pillows with hatch marks counting the days, carry the theme into the smallest details.
Boston has the strictest fire codes in the country, requiring that all items meet burn test requirements for fire/life safety. This means that custom fabrics and furniture must be burned in federally approved labs and certified by the Boston Fire Marshall; a level of coordination and schedule management that Bray Whaler has provided on many Boston projects. Adaptive reuse projects are as innovative and fun for designers and purchasing agents, as they are difficult and tricky for developers and architects. When it all comes together, magic happens, providing guests a one-of-a-kind historic experience wrapped in modern luxury.
Visit the hotel’s website for a detailed look that will inspire a visit, or check out this article for a description of 8 other former prisons now accepting paying customers.