The Dunbar Hotel is a historical landmark in Los Angeles, California. It was known first as the Hotel Somerville, when it was primarily a place for African- Americans. Central Avenue was a segregated area built in the 1930s and 1940s to give housing to African- Americans. The hotel itself was constructed in 1928. Its opening was hosted by the NAACP as their first national convention. In 1930, the hotel was renamed to its current nomenclature- Dunbar Hotel.
From the 1930s on it has been a jazz scene for Los Angeles hosting such famous people as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Lena Horne, and Lionel Hampton. WEB Du Bois, Ray Charles, and Joe Louis also stayed at the hotel.
The Dunbar Hotel is no longer a true hotel. Instead it was turned into 73 apartments. Unfortunately, its recent state puts it in danger of foreclosure since there are only 32 residents staying in the apartments. It has lost much of its original charm and glory, but it is possible it could be saved since it is a historic site. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, with a plaque.