The Dunbar Hotel’s guest list had cachet few others in the country could match: Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Louis and Thurgood Marshall are just some of the notables who stayed there. The hotel on Central Avenue was the hub of African American culture in Los Angeles in the decades around World War II, and many of the great black performers of the era appeared onstage there and at other nightclubs nearby. That the once-sizzling Central Avenue blocks anchored by the Dunbar were brought low by squalor and crime was heartbreaking to black leaders. Now a $14-million project is underway to renovate the famed hotel and two subsidized housing apartment buildings that bookend the Dunbar on Central Avenue at 42nd Place. All three properties will be part of an 83-unit residential and retail project called Dunbar Village, with the hotel itself reserved for seniors.
– LA Times