Historic prison transformed into luxury apartments
Salem, Massachusetts is famous for its witch trials, but the village is also home to one bizarre apartment building. For nearly 180 years, all of the residents were counting down the days until they could move out -- they were the inmates of the old Essex County Jail.
The jail was in use from 1812-1992, making it one of the oldest prisons in the nation. Supposedly, the Essex County Jail is where the notorious Boston Strangler was first brought. But now, it's the 50 St. Peter residences, home to 19 beautiful luxury apartment units. After years of financial and legal battles, developer David Goldman led the restoration project beginning in 2009.
Since then, the Salem residence has won five different architectural and historical awards for the restoration of the old jail. But in the transformation, the designers made an effort to preserve as much as possible. While each apartment is different, they all preserve an individual piece of the jail's incredible history, including original exposed brick walls and cell doors.
Near the building's entrance, tenants are surrounded by many of the jail's original features, including the gears to open and close the cells, and beautiful brass stairs. The designers kept the original cells built in the 1800s -- a stark reminder of the cramped quarters the prisoners lived in.
But the redesigned apartments are anything but cramped, as shown by tenant Barry Jones' beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. The entrance to his residency includes one of the original jail cell doors, and he highlights its incredible history. "For all I know, this could belong to the Boston Strangler," Jones said of the cell door.
While there's no doubt the transformed apartments are beautiful, the building's rich history is definitely spooky. Would you live in an old prison?
If you're interested in other transformed spaces, check out these schools around the world that have been turned into awesome hotels:
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