Ben Moore Hotel 2

Ben Moore

The once fine Ben Moore Hotel . . . located at 902 High Street (where it intersects with South Jackson), was built in 1952 near the center of Centennial Hill, the prestigious Black business district and neighborhood of that era. It was still new in 1954, when Martin Luther King moved into the Dexter Baptist parsonage, which was just yards down Jackson Street, and became a regular customer of the hotel’s basement barber shop. And there it stood when the Bus Boycott flared up in 1955, serving as the natural meeting place for Black leaders during the next strife-torn decade. It was where much of the Boycott and the March strategy evolved. Thus the Ben Moore is certainly one of a half-dozen key Civil Rights landmarks in Montgomery, but today it is a mostly empty, decaying hulk, giving no hint of the significant role it played in our City’s turbulent history fifty years back. Worst still, it is now the location of the infamous Rose Supper Club, site of so many altercations which demand police attention.

-Charles Humphries

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