Dudley Motel, Cafe and Service Station

Dublin - Laurens County

The Story

Herbert “Hub” Dudley, a prominent Black business owner in Dublin, opened the Dudley Motel in 1958 to accommodate Black travelers during the tumultuous Civil Rights era. In addition to this 12-unit motel, Dudley also owned the nearby Retreat Cafe and Service Station, as well as several other businesses for African American patrons in Dublin. The Dudley Motel was the first African American hotel opened in the area and was listed in African American travel guides such as the Green Book. Important guests included Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young.

The Threat

The Dudley Motel closed in the 1980s and has been vacant since. However, its original details remain intact. Although it has been identified as a significant site with potential for heritage tourism, a preservation plan is needed to protect and rehabilitate the hotel, both for its cultural significance and its example of mid-century architecture.