The iconic dimmed letters that rest above the 10 story- 122-year old building will light up once again as the historical building, the Divine Lorraine Hotel, will be renovated back to its beauty. The history of this place is endless and fascinating for us online investigators. (Set aside some time to Google and you’ll fall in love with the place like we have.)
Built in 1892, the Divine Lorraine played a historical role in Philadelphia– it was the first hotel in the city to become interracial and interreligious.
Father Divine, leader and head of the Divine Peace Mission Movement, acquired the building in 1948 from the Metropolitan Hotel Company, renaming it the Divine Lorraine Hotel. Over the subsequent fifty years, the Divine Lorraine Hotel served as the center of the Peace Mission’s international religious, civil rights and social welfare activities. As the largest property owner among African Americans in Philadelphia, the Peace Mission employed many black Philadelphians in restaurants, hotels and small business, while also providing meals, clothing, barbers’ services, transportation and lodging at reduced prices. — thedivinelorrainehotel.com
Here is the current state of the hotel, with renovations being projected to finish in January 2017.
The redevelopment costs around $44 million, and the developers plans are to create luxury apartments along with retail and restaurant space.