Hotel Lincoln sells for $400K; Museum of Public Art hits the market

The Hotel Lincoln—which in its heyday hosted musical icons like Nat King Cole, James Brown and Aretha Franklin—was bought by Solomon Carter, son of state Rep. Steve Carter, for $400,000 in a deal that closed Monday.

The seller is former Southern University Vice Chancellor Brandon K. Dumas, who listed the downtown east property for sale in late June for $550,000.

The Hotel Lincoln, a marquis hotel for African-Americans during segregation, has been vacant since the 1980s, Carter says. The historic 12,000-square-foot building has fallen into disrepair and is an eyesore in a part of Baton Rouge being targeted for revitalization.

“When I saw it going for sale, I almost didn’t believe it. I thought who would sell this building with all the stuff that’s about to go right next to it,” Carter says.

Carter plans to renovate the property, and though his plans are in the preliminary stages, he says he would like to see the building become a boutique hotel. In the short term, Carter says he may renovate the first floor for retail and build one bedroom or studio apartments on the upper floors.

Less than half a mile away, the building that served as the Museum of Public Art is up for sale at the asking price of $22,000. On Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive, between South 12th and South 13th streets, the building once showcased the works of internationally acclaimed graffiti artists, who were brought to town by Kevin Harris, a local orthodontist.

Businessman Cedric Patin, whose family owns the 7,000-square-foot property, says he is putting the building on the market, “to see what the options are out there.” He declines to elaborate.

The museum, which Harris and others had hoped would serve as a catalyst for redevelopment in the largely blighted neighborhood, had essentially folded by late 2014.

—Stephanie Riegel and Alexandria Burris

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