The Liberty Hotel

Boston, MA

An inspired adaptive reuse of a historic granite jailhouse into a luxury hotel, with a soaring main lobby space that includes the reconstruction of the building’s signature cupola.

The Liberty Hotel - CambridgeSeven
The Liberty Hotel - CambridgeSeven
The Liberty Hotel - CambridgeSeven
The Liberty Hotel - CambridgeSeven

The Project

Adaptive reuse is taken to a whole new level when you talk about turning a notorious jail into a luxury hotel. The National Register Historic 1851 granite jailhouse sat obsolete for decades in a prominent site bordering the Charles River, Beacon Hill and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Abutter and landlord MGH partnered with developer, Carpenter & Company to turn the derelict neighbor into a revitalized asset.

The Result

Through restoration, reuse and reinvention, the abandoned Charles Street Jail has been transformed into a four-star luxury hotel. The hotel’s focal point is the restored jail building, a soaring space repurposed from holding cells into the hotel’s reception lobby, restaurants and ballrooms. The 16-story guest room addition integrates seamlessly with the historic structure and the overall development has changed an area that was once to be avoided into a destination where you’d be delighted to spend the night.  Collaborated with Ann Beha Architects for historic architecture.

former cells


luxury hotel rooms






historic cupola removed


historic cupola rebuilt


2023 Best Firm Award: Renovation

LOOP Design Awards

2012 Paul E. Tsongas Award

Preservation Massachusetts

2008 Gold Key Award for Best Hotel Design

Interior Design and HOTELS Magazine

2008 Gold Key Award for Lobby / Reception

Interior Design and HOTELS Magazine

2008 IMI New England Golden Trowel Award

International Masonry Institute

2008 Runner-Up, Best Business Hotels

Wallpaper Magazine & Fortune Magazine

2008 Preservation Achievement Award

Boston Preservation Alliance

2008 Preservation Award

Massachusetts Historical Commission

2008 J. Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Restoration

National Housing & Rehabilitation Association

2008 Preservation Award

Victorian Society in America

2008 Preservation Award

Bostonian Society

2008 Modernization Award

Buildings Magazine

2008 Project of the Year "Readers' Choice"

Masonry Construction Magazine

We transformed the space from a 19th century jail to a 21st century hotel – from a sorrowful building to a joyful one. In Boston in particular, due the historic fabric of the city, there is interest in maintaining existing building stock, bringing these buildings to current standards.

Gary Johnson, AIA, Principal, CambridgeSeven

It’s a pretty remarkable transformation. I don’t think anybody who spent any time here before could’ve ever imagined what it has become today.

Joseph McMaster, author, ‘The Charles Street Jail’

Team Leaders

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