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FrontRunners: Prison Reform

When the Liberty Hotel (www.libertyhotel.com) opens this summer at the foot of Boston’s Beacon Hill, its guests are sure to have more enjoyable stays than did any of the celebrities who lodged in the building during its former incarnation, as the Charles Street Jail. Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Malcolm X, and Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler) each resided for a time at the granite, cross-shaped prison, which was built in 1851 and closed in 1990. To the north of a 90-foot-high foyer topped by a 40-foot-high cupola, construction crews have erected a 16-story tower that will hold most of the 300 guest rooms, including a 2,200-square-foot presidential suite. General manager Stuart Meyerson notes that the $120 million renovation will retain only a few reminders of the jail: “We’ll have some bars in the lounge, some photographs,” he says. “Other than that, we’re freeing this building from its past.”

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