Lost History: Dunbar Hotel at 15th and U Street

This is a series of photos that we found at the Smithsonian. It shows the Dunbar Hotel, a building that used to sit on the northwest corner of 15th and U St. Sadly, this beautiful building was demolished in 1974.

The Dunbar Hotel, located on 15th street between U and V streets NW. Designed by Clement A. Didden, Jr. the hotel had 485 bedrooms. Demolished in 1974. Automobiles are shown on the street, pedestrians on the sidewalk, and a gas station with a "Texaco / Amoc / Sinclair" sign. "Ansco Safety Film" edge imprint. Negative uncaptioned.
The Dunbar Hotel, located on 15th street between U and V streets NW. Designed by Clement A. Didden, Jr. the hotel had 485 bedrooms. Demolished in 1974. Automobiles are shown on the street, pedestrians on the sidewalk, and a gas station with a “Texaco / Amoc / Sinclair” sign. “Ansco Safety Film” edge imprint. Negative uncaptioned.

And here are a few interior photos from the hotel.

dining room at the Dunbar Hotel
dining room at the Dunbar Hotel
dining room at the Dunbar Hotel
dining room at the Dunbar Hotel
dining room at the Dunbar Hotel
dining room at the Dunbar Hotel
bar at the Dunbar Hotel
bar at the Dunbar Hotel

 

Source: Smithsonian Institution

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  • Look at the 1950’s automobiles in the first picture, and the portraits in the bar. Then note the men sitting in the dining room. Conclusion: the Dunbar was a hotel for Afro-Americans in a very segregated Washington DC. Thanks for this.

  • BlueNote1956

    The Dunbar Hotel was on the northeast corner of 15th & U NW, not the northwest. It is the current location of the Paul Lawrence Dunbar apartments.