1839 13th St NW

The Whitelaw Hotel was built, designed and financed entirely by African Americans. Popularly known as the Embassy, it became the premier venue for prominent African Americans to stay during segregation. Designed by architect Isaiah T. Hatton, one of the nation's first African American architects, it was named for the mother of its builder, entrepreneur John Whitelaw Lewis who also founded Industrial Savings Bank. The hotel was listed in Victor Green's Green Book and hosted many of the great entertainers of the day, including Louis Armstrong. As with the Dunbar, the end of legal segregation led to the decline of the Whitelaw and it closed in 1977. It re-opened as public housing in 1992.

Exterior of the Whitelaw
Exterior of the Whitelaw

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Close-up of awning of Whitelaw Hotel
Close-up of awning of Whitelaw Hotel

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Ticket to First Annual Spring Frolic of the Progressive Consumer's organization, held on April 17, 1
Ticket to First Annual Spring Frolic of the Progressive Consumer's organization, held on April 17, 1

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Exterior of the Whitelaw
Exterior of the Whitelaw

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