Seattle's famed Washington Hall for sale

June 30, 2008 at 9:22 PM
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SEATTLE, June 30 (UPI) -- Washington Hall, where Fats Domino, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington played back when black performers weren't welcome in Seattle's white venues, is for sale.

Built in 1908, the building also was the site of performances by James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, as well as a speech given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Seattle Times reported.

It is being sold by the Supreme Council of the Sons of Haiti, the black Masonic order that owns it.

Whether Washington Hall ends up divided into apartments or preserved as a historic landmark depends on who is willing to pay the highest price, the Times said.

Charles Adams, the building's manager and an officer with the Sons of Haiti, said the organization seeks $2 million to $2.5 million so it can buy a newer building for its activities.

Adams, 75, said he saw Brown, Hendrix and Cab Calloway play at Washington Hall.

"It made me feel very proud to have a celebrity of that stature there," Adams told the Times. "Myself being an African-American just to witness this, knowing that these individuals had crossed a certain threshold of acceptance as far as entertainers were concerned, made me very proud."

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