Boston, Massachusetts

The Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel is hospitality complex combining the adaptive reuse of the circa-1851 Charles Steet Jail with a new 16-story guest tower. As Preservation Architects for the project, we guided all exterior and interior restoration and renovation of the historic Jail building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Our work included photographic documentation and measured drawings, then submitted to the Historic American Buildings Survey. Our negotiations with the National Park Service, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston Landmarks Commission, and Boston Redevelopment Authority facilitated federal and state historic tax credits for the project.  

The Jail’s cupola, removed in 1949, was recreated per the building’s original sketches. New windows and slate roofing were installed, with exterior and interior building fabric restored. The removal of dropped ceilings inside the central rotunda allowed the original circular window openings and wood trusses to be exposed. Historic remnants from the original jail – catwalks, cell doors, and iron gratings – were re-installed as part of the re-invention of the building.  Together, the rotunda and flanking wings form the core of the Hotel, housing the reception lobby, restaurants, bars, grand ballroom, and conference facilities.  

Carpenter and Company Inc
Completed 2007
Project Size
87,000 GSF (Jail Building)
Preservation, Hospitality
Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence, Finalist
Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award
Boston Preservation Alliance Preservation Achievement Award
Victorian society of America Preservation Award
The American Lodging Investment Summit Development of the Year Finalist
National Housing & Rehabilitation Association Judge’s Award, Best Hotel/Hospitality
Building Magazine, Modernization Awards Grand Prize
Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design, Best Hotel Design and Best Lobby/Reception
Ann Beha Architects, now Annum Architects
Project Team
Pamela Hawkes FAIA, Ric Panciera AIA (ABA/Annum Preservation Architect); CambridgeSeven (Lead Architect); Alexandra Champalimaud Associates (Interior Design); Weidlinger Associates (Structural); Shooshanian Engineering Co. (MEP); Building Conservation Associates (Conservation)); Judith Nitsch Engineering (Civil)Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (Landscape); Fort Point Associates (Environmental / Permitting); Steve McHugh Architect / Wil-Spec (Specifications); C.M. Kling & Associates (Lighting); Tishman Construction Company (Owners Representative); Suffolk Construction Company (Construction Management); Peter Vanderwarker (Photography)