Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


Boston’s Liberty Hotel Developer Richard L. Friedman Recognized
for Adaptive Reuse of the Former Charles Street Jail

Wins Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- June 16, 2008 - As Boston’s Liberty Hotel readies to celebrate its first year as one of America’s most stunning and inspired adaptive “reuse” developments, its lead developer Richard L. Friedman has been awarded, on behalf of the project’s team, the prestigious Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse of the former Charles Street Jail. Received on May 29, 2008, the award is one of several accolades for the jail-turned-luxury-hotel. Other awards and nominations include the Boston Preservation Alliance’s Preservation Achievement Award for Significant Renovation and Restoration and recognition by the Urban Land Institute Awards of Excellence (short list) and the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Development of the Year (finalist). 

Where there are historic but degenerated buildings, Friedman sees unlimited potential. The renowned real estate developer and investor has made a career out of taking challenging sites and transforming them – with dogged determination, significant investment, and visionary creativity — into sparkling, reuse developments that revitalize historic assets and help churn tax revenue back into local economies. 

Friedman is celebrated for his vision, humor, creativity and financial acumen. He is well-known for his ability to secure financing for hotel projects, even in turbulent financial markets. For example, just two months after 9/11, he secured multi-million-dollar financing for a new hotel in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner. In his 30+ years in commercial real estate development, Friedman has worked on complex urban solutions and public-private partnerships with public agencies such as the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Massachusetts Port Authority, San Francisco Redevelopment Authority, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, and the planning departments of several cities across the nation. 

President and CEO of Carpenter & Company, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based firm, Friedman first became interested in real estate and urban planning in the mid-60’s when he worked part-time in the field as a retail leasing broker in a firm in which his father, AR Friedman, had worked for many decades. 

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1963, Friedman, an avid and talented ski racer, followed his love for the sport and went on to become Harvard’s Ski Coach from 1965-1971 while simultaneously beginning his real estate career with the Carpenter firm. By the early ‘70s he had bought the firm from its former owners and was working full-time in Boston’s growing market. 

He became a specialist at retail leasing and negotiated hundreds of leases for highly successful companies such as Ann Taylor and the Gap, traveling the country representing these early stage high growth retailers. 

Chicago billionaire A.N. Priztker became his mentor and introduced Friedman to the business of hotel development and they went on to develop three Hyatt Regency hotels from Texas to Boston. 

After developing the Hyatt Regency Cambridge in the early 1970s, he learned about an empty lot in Harvard Square vacated by the Regional Transit Authority. With another billionaire partner, Henry Hillman of Pittsburgh, the 300-room, landmark Charles Hotel was developed. 

This award-winning property was one of the earliest true mixed-use projects, combining a hotel, office space, condos and retail. Over the last 20+ years and over ten refinancings, Friedman remains the driving force and patron behind this award-winning project. 

Since then, Carpenter & Company Inc. has devoted most of its resources to the development of hotels, mixed-use projects and retail properties. A few of the company’s hotel projects include the 42-story St. Regis Hotel adjacent to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the 600-guest room Logan Airport Hilton in Boston and the 790-guestroom Westin Boston Waterfront. Typical retail developments include Wheaton Town Square in suburban Chicago and Westport Shops in Connecticut. 

In 2000, Friedman was appointed by former President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission, the federal government’s urban planning agency in charge of all the master planning, monuments, and parklands in the D.C. and its metro area. In addition, he organized the Interagency Security Task Force for Washington. This task force works with the U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and others to improve street security in Washington while preserving democratic values and urban development. He remains a consultant to the task force. 

Friedman currently serves on numerous business and civic boards of directors including the NYSE-listed Gatehouse Media, which is one of America’s largest owners of newspapers and local websites, and the enormously successful Steppingstone Foundation, which assists primarily minority students in reaching their higher education goals. Friedman has for years been politically active and was the National Finance Co-Chairman for U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd’s (D-Conn) 2007 Presidential Campaign. 

Friedman has been a guest lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Real Estate, Harvard Business School, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Boston Architectural Center. 

The Liberty Hotel 
215 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114

September 5, 2007

Once the storied Charles Street Jail, The Liberty Hotel welcomes guests to Boston with the spirit of a landmark liberated following an extensive $150 million acquisition, renovation and construction process. Marrying historic architecture with the high standards of refined, modern travel, The Liberty Hotel is New England’s premier luxury destination.

Commanding in scale, the original granite edifice was innovative for its day, comprising a beautiful cruciform-shaped structure complete with a 90-foot central rotunda and cupola built in 1851. Today, through meticulous planning reflective of the property’s colorful past, this strong and beautiful building is home to a variety of transcendent public spaces linked by historic catwalks – including lobby and reception areas, restaurant, bar, grand ballroom, and meeting rooms – as well as a limited number of guestrooms. Among the other dramatic features that have been preserved are vestiges of jail cells within the hotel lobby bar and magnificent, oversize windows. A new, adjoining 16-story tower houses the majority of guestrooms with every modern convenience.

The ultimate union of historic influence and contemporary design, this luxury hotel in Boston is inspired by a sophisticated interior decor that integrates with the architecture’s beautiful simplicity. Echoing the stone facade, reception desks are punctuated with a panel of granite warmed by a surrounding concentric panel of mahogany woods. Throughout the public areas, American colonial prints, enlarged and rendered in historic colors such as maroon, gray and purple, provide a fresh take on a traditional look, while bold geometric carpets in rich hues of purple and yellow are reminiscent of New England window panes and the friezes of traditional doors. Captivating in every sense of the word, The Liberty Hotel promises an unforgettable guest experience in a unique setting second to none.

A joint venture of Carpenter & Company, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts and MEHP, LP of Seattle, Washington. 

Carpenter & Company, Inc.
Richard L. Friedman

MTM Luxury Lodging 

About The Liberty Hotel 
Located in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, The Liberty Hotel is near the world’s best medical complex, posh shopping boutiques along quaint Charles Street, the City’s financial district and technology centers in Cambridge. The property, which offers sweeping views of the Charles River, is the imaginative adaptation of the storied Charles Street Jail into a 300-room luxury hotel with three distinct dining venues and 6,000 square feet of meeting space. A National Historic Landmark and architectural gem built in 1851, the hotel incorporates its history, exceptional service and the latest in modern technology to create an unrivaled guest experience. 
The Liberty Hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, For reservations and more information, call (617) 224-4000 or (866) 507-5245

Nancy Friedman, 212-228-1500

Also See: Boston's Charles Street Jail to be Reborn as The Liberty Hotel, Stuart Meyerson Named General Manager / October 2006


To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.