Breaking News
More () »

Officials discuss historical importance of Tampa's historic Jackson House amid restoration project

Historians are hoping the more than 100-year-old home can be restored to its former glory.

TAMPA, Fla — Tampa Bay History Center hosted a webinar Wednesday to provide the latest information on the upcoming transformation of Tampa's historical Jackson House.

Historian Fred Hearns and curators Brad Massey and Rodney Kite-Powell discussed the important role the house played in Tampa's history - acting as a place of shelter for many diverse communities.

On the outside, one might pass Tampa's Jackson House and not realize all the culture and history that once lived inside its walls.

The former boarding house, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, is an important part of the region’s African American history.

Around 1912, when Tampa’s Union Station train depot opened, The Jackson Rooming House became a favorite destination for African American travelers visiting the area. Through decades of segregation, it was a social hub in Tampa’s once-bustling Central Avenue district.

Famous musicians like Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington were among those who either stayed at or visited the house.

Several decades later, Tampa Bay is working to restore the historic home to its former glory so that generations for years to come will know its importance. 

Phase one for the restoration project included things like removing trash and vegetation, securing the property, and identifying important and historic artifacts still inside. 

The University of South Florida and Tampa Bay History Center are partnering together to complete a full 3-D reimaging of the home in order to determine if it is structurally sound.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has committed $1 million to the restoration project in 2020. The location could be slated to become a museum.

Watch the full webinar here:

What other people are reading right now:

►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter

Before You Leave, Check This Out