Hotel Ducor – The Abandoned Queen of West Africa
Abandoned, stripped and gutted, the Hotel Ducor looks out over Monrovia. The hotel was built in 1960 with 8 floors and 106 rooms. The hotel, run by Intercontinental Hotels, has played home to the great and good including Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and Ugandan leader Idi Amin. The hotel was closed in 1989 in the lead-up to the first Liberian Civil War. Since then, it has been comprehensively looted with all fittings from toilets to doors and even lifts taken. The hotel, formerly occupied by squatters, awaits a new and eager owner to restore its former glory. In the meantime, a quiet word with the security guard allows a visitor to walk through the empty halls and crawl out through a small gap high above the swimming pool on to the roof of the building for a view out over Monrovia. And, in the bowels of the building, grafitti abounds – some speaking of casual violence and others of ad hoc interior decorating and graphic inspiration. For more on Liberia, visit Ebola Graffiti – Liberia, Liberia Part 1: The Ten Year Round-trip, Liberia Part 2: Sign of the Times.