Sunday, April 3, 2011

Boston's Charles Street Jail Is Now A Freakin' Hotel

Several months ago I discovered that the Suffolk County Jail in Boston - commonly known as the Charles Street Jail - had been converted into something called The Liberty Hotel. The freakin' jail used to take up a big chunk of your visual field if you were on the Red Line train on the way from Charles Street to Park, and just happened to be looking to your left. Hideous brick monstrosity. Particularly depressing on those overcast, hungover mornings when you were truckin' into work and would rather be anyplace else. Sacco and Vanzetti, Malcolm X, and former mayor James Michael Curley had all been incarcerated there back in the day. Indeed, so had one of the South Boston hooligans who murdered my boyhood friend. This micreant, some egregious dude named Shaughnessy, hanged himself there rather than go to trial. Coward! Now his ghost haunts the place. Along with an ectoplasmic goop-load of other ghosts. I'd known the place had been closed for years, but hadn't expected this. It's right next to Mass. General Hospital, and apparently housed lunatics too at one point. The jail had been built in 1851. Now it's been converted into the kind of synthetically creepy venue that yuppies can pretend to be hipsters by sleeping in, or screwing in, or ordering a dacquiri in. The sort of place that appeals to smug upper middle-class assholes with a taste for the horrific who nonetheless assume that bad shit will never touch them. As you can see from the photo, the skeletons of some of the old cell blocks have been converted into an obscenely glittering and backlit indoor arcade. They gotta have a fuckin' bar! What the hell? I might order a vodka martini there myself sometime, maybe with the wife in tow, and lift a sardonic toast to the phantom that killed my pal.

Charles Street Jail (Wikipedia)
The Liberty Hotel (Boston Globe)

No comments:

Post a Comment