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Whitelaw Hotel, Washington DC

In November 1919, Washington, DC 's, first luxury hotel for African Americans opened. In the era of Jim Crow laws and white-only accommodations, the $158,000 project was financed and built by and for blacks. Conceived by entrepreneur John Whitelaw Lewis and designed by Isaiah T. Hatton, the hotel was a gathering place for the community and celebrity guests like Cab Calloway who were performing at the U Street clubs. The end of legal segregation and the influx of drugs spelled the demise of the Whitelaw. In 1977, the badly deteriorated property was closed by the city. Manna, Inc. bought the building in 1991 and with the help of historic preservation tax credits administered by the National Park Service, returned it to productive use the following year as low- and moderate-income housing. A symbol of the rejuvenation of the Shaw neighborhood, the Whitelaw Hotel at 1839 13th Street NW was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on July 14, 1993.

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National Register of Historic Places Washington , DC Travel Itinerary

Cultural Tourism DC – African American Heritage Trail

 

 

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