Queen City Hotel was the center of the African-American business district in the mid-twentieth century. It was also the focus of lodging and entertainment for the African-American community. It was constructed, owned and operated in 1909 by Robert Walker, who was once a slave. The hotel played host to such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Little Richard, and James Brown, as well as many professional baseball players.