Historic Markers: West End

Harrison Gray Otis House - 141 Cambridge St.

The first of three homes designed by Charles Bulfinch for Harrison Gray Otis, this 1796 structure reflects the proportions and delicate detail of the Federal style. Otis, who served as Representative in Congress and later Mayor of Boston, made his fortune developing nearby Beacon Hill. Twentieth century restoration has recaptured the elegance of the city's only remaining 18th century freestanding townhouse.

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Suffolk County Jail - 215 Charles Street

Built in 1851, the Charles Street Jail is the culminating work of Gridley J.F. Bryant, the city’s foremost architect of monumental granite forms (now known as the Boston Granite style). Pioneering prison reformer Rev. Louis Dwight collaborated with Bryant on plans for the new facility -- a cruciform with four wings radiating from an octagonal center. Dwight’s humanitarian approach toward prisoners called for rooms large enough for communal work and exercise as well as individual cells. This location on the Charles River produced additional benefits as well -- fresh air and ample natural light through wall and cell windows. The jail served the county until 1990.

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