Famous jazz venue in North Carolina burns down

The former Breece's Ballroom in Fayetteville, North Carolina that once hosted great names like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Little Richard and Fats Domino has burned down.

A famous venue in Fayetteville, North Carolina that once hosted great names like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, Little Richard and Fats Domino has burned down. The former Breece's Ballroom burned and collapsed and the extensive damage to the building has prevented determining the cause of the fire.

Breece's Ballroom was built in 1940 and was a local 'social temple' that pioneered the idea of a racially integrated concert hall in the segregated American South. Black and white audiences mingled together there as early as the late 1940s taking down a rope across the dance floor that once separated people by race.

The building had been vacant since 2000 and there are no plans to rebuild the ballroom. It will form part of a public community area instead.

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