The history presented in the story was somewhat inaccurate. Here is a factual account of Pennsylvania Avenue history http://www.baltimorejazz.com/penn-ave.html
Redd Foxx launched his career at Gamby's, one of William L. Adams's night clubs around the 1500 blk. It's long gone. Many people now point to another place, wrongly, as his career starting point. That latter place is at Pernnsylvania and Fulton (2700 blk). where you can still see a liquor store called Red Fox, with the sign intact. That's lounge launched the local songstress Ethel Ennis.
The center of nightlife, though, was near the Royal Theater and legendary nightclubs, some 12 blocks south.
As to James Brown's motor inn at Paca and Franklin, it was not the "first black hotel." It was a latecomer, appearing in the early 1970s, after segregation had ended, when the singer took over the bankrupt Downtowner Motor Inn. The singer also bought WEBB Radio.
In fact, a number of black hotels operated in the Pennsylvania Avenue vicinity during segregation. The earliest, dating back to the 1890s, belonged to Tom Smith, the most powerful black political boss and number king in the city's history. His death, in 1938, paved the way for the rise of Little Willie Adams.
If I sound a bit aggressive about this, it is because I believe that history must be serious history. Otherwise it is fiction. We already have too much of that.. An example is the Billie Holiday statue on Pennsylvania Avenue. It claims she was born in Baltimore. Her birth certificate says Philadelphia. Also, artistically, her involvement with Baltimore was not that great although she did appear here on tours. By stating this, I in no way try to diminish her.
A far better case can be made to celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue Baltimore native Chick Webb, a bandleader who featured aspiring Ella Fitzgerald but died tragically young, and Cab Calloway, who may have been born in Washington, D.C. but lived an active life here. There are many others.
When one looks at today's Pennsylvania Avenue, there is next to nothing historic left. All demolished. But let's celebrate the past factually.
Anyone interested in Pennsylvania Avenue should read Cab Calloway's "Of Minnie the Moocher and Me" and "African-American Entertainment in Baltimore" by Rosa Pryor-Trusty and Tonya Taliaferro.