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Historic Dunbar Hotel That Once Hosted W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes & Billie Holiday Gets Revamped

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Photo by Gelatobaby via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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In its heyday, the historic Dunbar Hotel hosted W.E.B Dubois, Langston Hughes, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway and Lena Horne at its location on Central Avenue in the heart of the Los Angeles Jazz Corridor. The neighborhood fell on hard times, but now the Dunbar Hotel and buildings around it are getting revamped. This week the project called Dunbar Village broke ground. Intersections South LA describes the redevelopment project:

Dunbar Village includes refurbishing the Dunbar Hotel, including 40 units of affordable senior housing, and the renovation of the existing Sommerville I and II apartments, with 41 units of affordable family housing. All three properties will be connected to create the Dunbar Village, an 83-unit mixed-use, intergenerational community for seniors and families.

The $29.3 million development is being handled by Thomas Safran and Associates (TSA) and the local non-profit, Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD).

City councilwoman Jan Perry was at the groundbreaking. She said, "Central Avenue and the Dunbar Hotel have long been an important part of our Los Angeles history. It is wonderful to see the Avenue come alive again and know that this historic landmark will be restored for people to enjoy for generations to come. Dunbar Village will preserve our shared history, create quality jobs for local youth, and offer much-needed affordable housing for families and seniors."

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Columnist Walter Melton went to the groundbreaking, because he had a personal connection to the hotel: his mother used to be a dancer there. He even found an old photograph of her on the wall.