Former pool area
|Former names||Ducor Palace, Ducor Intercontinental Hotel|
|Address||Broad Street, Monrovia|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|Current tenants||None (formerly numerous squatters)|
|Owner||formerly Intercontinental Hotels|
The Ducor Palace Hotel is a building in Monrovia, Liberia. The building overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Saint Paul River and Monrovia's West Point district. Established in 1960 as a luxury hotel, it had 106 rooms on eight stories at the highest point of the city. It is located on Ducor Hill, at the end of Broad Street across from United Nations Boulevard in Monrovia's main business district. The building has fallen into extensive disrepair and was occupied by squatters who were removed before a failed effort at a Libyan-funded renovation.
Operated by the Intercontinental Hotels chain, the Ducor Hotel was the first international-class hotel constructed in Liberia, and was for many years one of the few five-star hotels in all of Africa. The inauguration ceremony of the hotel was an international affair, attended by President Sekou Toure of Guinea, and Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir, among others.
During its years of operation, it continued to host important meetings between African leaders. Idi Amin is said to have swum in its pool while carrying his gun. President Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast was so impressed with the hotel during his stay that he commissioned its Israeli builder, Moshe Mayer, to erect a 12-story luxury hotel in Abidjan, Hotel Ivoire. The Ducor's various amenities, such as its pool, tennis courts, and a French restaurant, made it popular with tourists from the Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, as well as visiting professionals from the US, Europe, and Asia.
With political uncertainty looming, the Ducor Hotel closed in 1989, just before the coup led by Charles Taylor which ousted President Samuel Doe and marked the beginning of the First Liberian Civil War. The building endured much damage during this period, due both to the violence of the war and to postwar looting. During this time, displaced residents of many of Monrovia's slums began to occupy the hotel's empty rooms.
In 2008, the Government of Liberia signed a lease agreement with the Government of Libya, who began clearing the property of debris in 2010 in preparation for a bidding process to be completed by June 2010. The Italian design firm Serapioni prepared models of the renovated hotel.
The project was delayed several times before finally being abandoned upon Liberia's severing of diplomatic relations with the Gaddafi government following the outbreak of the 2011 Libyan civil war.
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