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

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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Washington, D.C., circa 1931. "Fifteenth Street at Pennsylvania Avenue." Note the traffic lights, which made their D.C. debut in 1926, as well as the traffic-cop gazebo at center ("NO LEFT TURN") and streetcar switch tower to its left. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Looking Up 15th St. at Pennsylvania Ave. in 1931

This great old photo shows the view looking north on 15th St., just east of …

  • 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.