In this video, join fine art photographer Keith Dotson as he walks and drives around the city of Meridian, Mississippi to make photographs of abandoned buildings, especially focused on the historic but condemned E.F. Young Jr. Hotel
Hey everybody Keith Dotson here in downtown Meridian Mississippi
The historic E.F. Young Jr. Hotel, built in 1946
The hotel, which provided clean and safe accommodations to Black travelers during the years of segregation, was part of Meridian’s African American Business District. It catered to Black travelers, from the nearby train station. This was a big deal because in those days Black travelers in the Jim Crow era South mostly had to stay with friends or sleep in their cars.
Here, they could also dine out, get haircuts and shoe shines, find entertainment at the Magnolia Theater, and obtain medicines at the Fielder and Brooks Pharmacy.
Sadly, the building has been slated for demolition and while there wasn’t a specific date at the time I made this video (April 2023), its destruction is imminent.
Look at this pebble texture — that’s so mid-century style. There’s gold flake in it.
The National Register of Historic Places application says this about the hotel building, which is part of a multiple structure application:
“E. F. Young Hotel (500-25th Ave.). 1946. Two-story stuccoed building at corner of row. Four bays by three highlighted by white trim, which is found at string courses, window sills, and lintels; inset panels between floors, pilaster strips, and sawtooth cornice. Not normally eligible for National Register nomination because of age, but definitely a contributory structure.”
Sources and Links
The National Register of Historic Places application. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/64000416_text