In November of 2022, Community Financial Services Bank (CFSB) surprised The Hotel Metropolitan Director, Betty Dobson, with a check for $10,000 in hopes that they can continue to restore the historical gem found in the Upper Town District of Paducah. Dating back to 1908, the Hotel Metropolitan was the city's first African American owned hotel providing accommodations for African American travelers and visitors to the city in the days of segregation. It was a place of rest and comfort for entertainers and musicians traveling the "Chitlin' Circuit" of the south. Its guest list is a Who's Who of famous African American's including Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, B.B. King, and Ike and Tina Turner, Justice Thurgood Marshall and more. After desegregation, the hotel became a rooming house. In recent years, the property was donated to a local preservation group, rehabilitated and now serves as a museum of African American heritage. With continuous renovations, the building and grounds needs funding to restore and maintain the history housed there.
CFSB CEO Michael Radcliffe says, "The Hotel Metropolitan represents an important cultural landmark for our Black community. Ms. Dobson is keeping the memories of the Hotel Metropolitan alive through her portrayal of the original owner, the resolute Ms. Maggie Steed, who obtained the funding and built the hotel at a time when women, and especially women of color, were not welcome in the business world. Learning and understanding the truth about our past is the only way to secure a better future for all of our communities, and we are happy to help support and preserve this important piece of our community's history."
More information on the hotel and memories of Director Dobson can be found at https://www.paducah.travel/blog/post/betty-dobson-shares-ms-maggies-memories-at-hotel-metropolitan-in-paducah/
If interested in touring the property and learning about its history, call Betty Dobson at (270) 443-7918 or send a message to the Hotel Metropolitan on Facebook.