Explore the Divine Lorraine Hotel Legally

space-and-company-philadelphia-divine-loraraineBY JOSH TEMPLE (
Like many of my fellow Philadelphians, the Divine Lorraine Hotel, located at the corner of Broad and Fairmount, is a building that has always intrigued me, and next week we’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the 19th century victorian hotel without facing arrest or injury. A pop-up shop will be hosted in the building September 15th and, for one day only, tours of the building’s lobby and “gift shop” will be given to the public. See the link below for more information.
The building was built in the 1890s as apartments targeting Philadelphia’s nouve-riche, a product of the industrial revolution. It was designed by local architect Willis Hale, whose many ornate victorian buildings throughout the city were mostly torn down through the 20th century. Shortly after being built as apartments, it was converted into the Lorraine Hotel in 1900. In 1948, it was purchased by Father Divine, aka Reverend Major Jealous Divine (this guy must have been a character), who is considered by some one of the first modern cult leaders. Father Divine tossed “Divine” in front of Lorraine Hotel, and made it the first hotel of it’s class in the U.S. to be racially integrated. All were welcome at the Divine Lorraine Hotel as long as you followed the rules of the reverend’s movement.
The building was officially closed in 1999, leaving the decayed structure that we have come to admire and an attraction for many urban explorers. There has been a few plans that have come and gone to renovate the building, but the most recent purchaser’s plans seem to have legs. Construction lighting has been installed, financing is in place, and hopefully The Divine Lorraine Hotel will soon be restored to her former glory.
Pop up shop info:

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