If These Walls Could Talk

1851: $450,000 jail opens; praised as a model of humanitarian design

1904-05: Locked up for taking boyo’s civil service exam, legendary political fixer James Michael Curley enjoys a double cell and saltwater baths, catches up on reading

1945: German U-boat crew is detained; commander marched in chains through Boston mob, commits suicide with broken eyeglasses

1967: Mafia hitman Joe “The Animal” Barboza turns rat, prompts the invention of the Witness Protection Program. It doesn’t work: Barboza gunned down in 1976

1973: Inhumane conditions, like riot-causing bugs in pea soup, persuade Judge W. Arthur Garrity to overnight in a cell, promptly order cleanup

1983: Local “businessman” Jerry Angiulo awaits trial for racketeering, gets regular deliveries of fresh-pressed suits and North End meals

1990: Festering, pigeon-infested jail shuttered by court order

2007: $110 million, four-star Liberty Hotel opens