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From Prison to Luxury Retreat

Boston Jail Reborn as Liberty Hotel

— November 8, 2007 — World
The infamous 156 year old Charles St Jail where you could stay for free, if you dared, for merely breaking the law has been transformed into the Liberty Hotel after a five year, $150 million renovation. Now, guests pay from $319 a night for the lowest-priced room to $5,500 for the presidential suite.

"The elegant iron-railing balconies were once catwalks where guards stood watch over the inmates to make sure they didn't try to break out. If you look closely, you can still see the outline of the holes from the iron bars on the windows.

At the newly opened Liberty Hotel, it's hard to escape what this building once was: a decrepit jail where Boston locked up its most notorious prisoners.

But that's just the point.The hotel, at the foot of Boston's stately Beacon Hill neighborhood, opened in September.

Architects took pains to preserve many features of the 156-year-old stone building and its history.

The old sally port, where guards once brought prisoners from paddy wagons to their cells, is being converted into the entrance to a new restaurant, Scampo, which is Italian for ''escape.''

In another restaurant, named Clink, diners can look through original bars from cell doors and windows as they order smoked lobster bisque or citrus poached prawns from waiters and waitresses wearing shirts with prison numbers. The hotel bar, Alibi, is built in the jail's former drunk tank."

Implications - The concept of escape and vacation will never fade; however, it will alter. Today's consumer is much more difficult to impress than before, and thus, tourist attractions and hotels are bearing much less conventional style.
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