Former German Jackson Residence (Jackson Rooming House)

Property Name:Former German Jackson Residence
(Jackson Rooming House)
Address:1006 North Sixth Street
Owners:Matt Long /Harrisburg Commercial
Interiors and Associates Inc.,
Priority Since:2000
Status:Collapsed early 2021; plan in motion to rebuild in original form.

The Jackson Rooming House played a unique role in Harrisburg’s African-American history.  This brick Second-Empire-style building was erected in 1884 as a residence for dry goods merchant Frank Hess and his wife Eleanor.  Its importance dates to its subsequent owner, German Jackson, an African-American who worked as a head doorman at the Penn Harris Hotel in the middle decades of the 20th Century.  Jackson invited many prominent African-American celebrities, including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, to stay here in the era of segregation when blacks were not welcome in Harrisburg’s hotels. Thus, the building is often referred to as the Jackson Rooming House.  The property changed hands twice in recent years, and the new owner is developing a viable preservation plan.

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