Then and Now: The Dunbar Hotel

Dunbar HotelThen: The Dunbar Hotel, pictured here ca. 1950, was originally completed in 1902 as the Portner Flats. The Portner family sold the apartment building in 1945, and it reopened as the Dunbar Hotel — Washington’s leading elite black hotel. The Dunbar declined after the City’s other hotels integrated, and the building was razed in 1974. (Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

Campbell Heights apartments.Now: The Campbell Heights apartment complex for senior citizens was built on the site in 1978. The complex is comprised of a seven-story high-rise and low-rise garden apartments.


4 Responses to “Then and Now: The Dunbar Hotel”

  1. Steven Jackson Says:

    I was a desk clerk at the Dunbar Hotel right after high school graduation in 1968. The hotel was owned by The Warwick management company and the owner a Jewish gentleman resided in California. He left the management of the hotel and other local Wash DC property to an assistant by the name of Theodore Hagans. Mr Hagans like Mr HR Crawford were black men who becoming managers of real property in the District of Columbia (Wash DC) in the late sixties.

    After the riots of 1968, the two men would become millionaires through real property management and ownership. The large influx of Federal funds would benefit them greatly as men who already had connection and experience in real property and were a means for the Federal government to funnnel these funds to the inner city as part of President Johnson’s attempt to lift up the inner cities where racial and social unrest had created explosive situations.

  2. Thanks for sharing that Steven. Very interesting!

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  4. mel foreman Says:

    As a twenty year old newly married marine in 1962 I had the
    pleasure of experiencing a stay at the Dunbar which was the
    Place to stay as an afroamerican. It was plush! At the time

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