Queen City Hotel
Located on 7th Avenue in Columbus, the Queen City Hotel was formerly the social and cultural hub of the Columbus African American community. Originally converted into a hotel in 1914 by legendary blues guitarist Robert Walker, it was sold in 1931 to Ed Bush who operated the business for many years. During this era, this section of Columbus became the business center of the African American community, with a number of shops located on 7th Avenue, 19th Street, and 20th Street. The strong will of Ed Bush was the glue that held this small community together. After Ed’s health began to fail, the businesses began to fail as well.
2015 Update – Lost
Portions of the building were destroyed by storms in the Columbus area in 2002, and very little remained of the original structure—only the front wall. Although the Legislature approved funds for reconstructing the building, and a local architect was hired to prepare drawings, the owners bulldozed the property in 2008, erasing the history of this important landmark.
Despite the unfortunate loss of this property, the Visit Columbus website encourages tourists to tour the Queen City Hotel site and states, “Queen City Hotel was the center of the African American business district in the mid-twentieth century. It was also the focus of lodging and entertainment for the African-American community. It was constructed, owned, and operated in 1909 by Robert Walker, who was once a slave. The hotel played host to such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Little Richard, and James Brown, as well as many professional baseball players.”