Thursday, April 29, 2010

Divine Lorraine Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

699 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Built in 1892, Photographed in 2009

The Divine Lorraine Hotel, also known as the Lorraine Apartments, stands at the corner of Broad and
Fairmount Streets in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Designed by architect Willis G. Hale and built
between 1892 and 1894, the building originally functioned as apartments, housing some of
Philadelphia's wealthy residents. Lorraine Apartments is one of the most luxurious and best preserved
late 19th century apartment houses in Philadelphia. In 1900 the building became the Lorraine Hotel
when the Metropolitan Hotel Company purchased the apartments. Later it would become the first hotel
in Philadelphia to be racially integrated under Father Divine.

Divine's followers ran the hotel after his death until its sale in 2000. The Universal Peace Mission
Movement still exists in the form of a network of independent churches, businesses, and religious orders.
Its followers also run another hotel, the Divine Tracy in West Philadelphia. The Divine Lorraine
received a historical marker from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1994 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 as a site significant in terms of both
architectural and civil rights history. After its most recent purchase in 2006, future plans for the hotel
included converting it into condominiums.

Further readings:
-The Philly History Blog
-Philly Provenance

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