Historic hotel approved for redevelopment
BATON ROUGE - On Wednesday, the metro council considered a proposal to preserve a historic hotel in the capital city, which dates back to the 1950s.
Hotel Lincoln has been sitting next to Webb’s Barber Shop on Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive for years.
"I heard it was famous for the black artists and musicians that came and stayed there," said longtime barber Lindell Davis.
The lettering on the building is fading, some windows are shattered, but one thing that hasn't changed is the reputation Hotel Lincoln once had. Though the outside of the building would suggest otherwise, big names like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Nat King Cole all stayed at Hotel Lincoln.
Back in the 1950s, the hotel was the only place that would house people of color. The building later closed in the 1990s.
"I think it's time to see that area come back to life,” said developer Stephen Solomon Carter.
Carter has taken on the landmark and plans to fix up the rundown building into a 13-unit apartment complex.
"We plan to have really spacious 700-square foot bedroom apartments. While keeping the interior corridor and the structure the way it was intact for the historical significance,” Carter said.
Last summer, the Lincoln became part of the National Historic Register, allowing Carter to use special tax credits to finance the building and preserve its history.
“The exterior of the building, restoring it to what it used to look like. It’s an initial look back in the fifties and sixties. Once it’s bright and lights are on again and when the front the canopy is all restored and everything, it'll be another icon along that Government Street corridor,” Carter said.
Plans and blueprints have already been laid out and been approved by the zoning department. Carter hopes to start work within the next few months.