Our next stop in using Victor Green’s The Green Book, assurance of accommodation for the African American traveler from 1936-1967, is Meridian. The year 1939 was the first year Mississippi was listed in the Green Book, with only 6 hotels. One of them was Meridian’s Beales Hotel at 2411 Fifth Street.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory, identifes a Beale’s Cafe at 2411 Fifth Street, begun in 1910 by John Beale. From the image, I am speculating that the cafe was on the first floor, and the single entry door to the right led to the stairs up to the second floor hotel rooms. The building was described as a two-story, brick commercial building with a “…flat roof…parapet, projecting metal cornice, paired brackets, storefront with three plate glass doors, display windows, ceramic tile, metal awnings, second floor with paired 1/1 double hung sash windows with stone sills and lintels with projecting brick surrounds” (Linda Ford, December 14, 2004, National Register for Historic Places Amendment for Meridian Downtown Historic District).
In 1955, the Green Book added the 1946-constructed E. F. Young Hotel at 500 25th Avenue, and in 1956, the Hotel Henderson at 2507 5th Street. The building that occupied 2507 is not extant, as only a concrete slab remains at the location.
The western part of the historic district has a long historical association with the African-American community. This part of the downtown area, centered around the intersections of 25th Avenue and Fourth and Fifth Streets, has been the black commercial section of Meridian from the turn of the 2th century to the present. Important landmarks still extant in this area include the E. F. Young Hotel at 2416-2420 Fifth Street…(Linda Ford, December 14, 2004, NRHP Amendment Meridian Downtown Historic District)
E. F. Young Hotel was a
two-story, stucco-clad with pebble texture…saw tooth cornice, four storefronts with off center, wood and glass doors, display windows, clerestory, stringcourse, inset panels, stringcourse, second floor with 4/4 double hung sash windows, lintels, awnings, neon signage. (Ford, 2004)
WTOK featured a February 11, 2016 article about the potential renovation of the hotel and storefronts of the block into an entertainment and mixed-use area.