Duchess Hotel

Richard T. Kyers opened the Duchess Hotel in the former Duchess apartment block at 2125 East 79th Street next to his Green Book–listed Kyers Service Station (7901 Cedar Avenue) in the 1940s to meet the surging demand for lodging for Black visitors and newcomers to Cleveland during World War II. Kyers also converted a large house nearby at 8001 Cedar Avenue into a rooming house that was decried as a firetrap after a woman died in a fire there in 1947. After a decade, Kyers seems to have redeemed his reputation, for he won zoning board approval to expand the Duchess in 1957 to offer 20 suites and 31 sleeping rooms. Kyers became a highly successful business operator with several properties in the area, enabling him to move from a very modest clapboard house on East 69th Street to a large brick home on Glenville’s Drexel Avenue after World War II.

Resources

  • “A Person You Should Know.” Call & Post. May 30, 1942.
  • “Housing Tips….” Call & Post. December 6, 1947.
  • “Zone Board OK’s Hotel Expansion.” Call & Post. February 23, 1957.
2125 E 79th St