THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Major renovations are underway for a Thomasville building that in the mid-1900s, acted as a safe haven for traveling African Americans.
That structure, better known as the Imperial Hotel, is being restored to its former glory.
Thomasville city leaders said the Imperial Hotel was more than just a hotel and a salon.
With such rich history, city leaders are working hard to restore this site into a museum.
“This has been a dream," said Jack Hadley, owner of Jack Hadley’s Black History Museum.
Hadley said it’s crucial that sites like this don’t disappear with time.
“It’s a piece of our African American history here in Thomasville,” said Hadley.
The Imperial Hotel provided a safe location for African American’s who were traveling to and through Thomasville.
It also made it’s way into the Green Book, which was a travel guide for African American’s in the mid 1900s, something Hadley knew was very special.
“We used to travel with my family from Massachusetts to Thomasville and there was no place to stop,” said Hadley.
It’s now been 50 years since the building has been active. Hadley and many others are diligently working to change that.
The first step is to quickly replace the old, damaged roof with a new one.
“It’s a blessing because without that roof it will continue to deteriorate and we would be in bad shape.” said Hadley.
Hadley said he hopes the next generation will learn to appreciate history and will follow their example.
“Now it’s up to the younger generation to see what we’re doing and carry it even farther,” said Hadley.
However, Hadley said that in order to complete all the necessary renovations, they’re going to need your continued support.