September 20 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Please join us for our annual:
Gala reception includes 2020 Preservation Awards, “A Toast to Calobe Jackson,” A silent auction and more!
Historic Harrisburg “raises a toast” to historian and longtime community leader Calobe Jackson Jr. on the occasion of his 90th birthday on April 20. We will gather with friends and the community at large to honor Calobe in person at HHA’s annual Preservation and Celebration and Toast, Sunday, September 20 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Historic Harrisburg Resource Center, 1230 N. Third Street in Midtown.
Mr. Jackson is a lifelong resident of Harrisburg whose roots run deep and whose knowledge of local and African-American history is virtually unsurpassed. His record of community service includes dozens of causes, organizations and accomplishments, all generously served with unwavering civility and optimism.
Born on Easter Sunday, 1930, in Harrisburg Hospital, he first lived at Aberdeen and Strawberry Alleys near Old City Hall, where his father, Calobe Jackson Sr. operated a barbershop and pool hall. In 1934, the family and the Jackson businesses relocated to 1002 N. Sixth Street, as the continuing Capitol expansion displaced the thriving African-American community in the Old Eighth Ward. Jack’s Barbershop, as it was known to lessen confusion with the adjacent Jackson Rooming House (owned by the equally prominent German Jackson family) is today being restored as part of the block-long revitalization project dubbed “Jackson Square.”
Educated at Boas Elementary School, Camp Curtin Jr. High, and William Penn High School “48, young Jackson studied two years at Lincoln University until being drafted into the Army in 1951, serving with an all-black battalion as engineer/surveyor. Upon discharge, he began a four-decade career with the Post Office, first at the old “Federal Square,” then at the “new” post office at 10th and Market, from which he retired in 1990.
Calobe’s community service over the past 30 years has been extensive. He served on the Harrisburg School Board from 1992 to 1999. In 2000 he served as a regional technician for the U.S. Census. In 2001 he was re-elected to the school board, subsequently being appointed by Mayor Stephen Reed to the school district Board of Control. During this period, he helped to establish the Math-Science Academy and the acclaimed “Sci Tech High” school. In 2004, he was appointed chair of the Board of Control, serving until 2010, when control reverted to the elected school board.
Jackson’s other positions included: Trustee of Harrisburg University, 2005 to 2010; 15 years as a Trustee of the Historical Society of Dauphin County; Harrisburg Planning Commission, 2000 to 2018 (where his fellow commissioners relied on his local knowledge, stating: “you know the history!”). He is a member and past Commander of the Ephraim Slaughter Post of the American Legion.
2020 Preservation Awards:
The Historic Harrisburg Association has announced the selection of two properties that will receive the association’s 2020 Preservation Award.
“The Fox on Washington,”the former Fox Hotel and Santanna’s Seafood House, at S. Second and Washington Streets, occupying a prominent location in Downtown Harrisburg’s southern gateway, has ben restored and redeveloped by Harristown Enterprises into eight stylish apartments within historic Shipoke’s northern neighborhood.
The Old Coventry Building,a long-vacant and dilapidated property at North and Susquehanna Streets, comprised of two of the earliest structures still standing in the Capital Area Neighborhood, has been restored by Matt Krupp and Alli Lin LLC, with the ground floor becoming the second retail location of Elementary Coffee and the upper floors becoming two cathedral-ceilinged apartments.
In recent years, The HHA has limited its Preservation Awards to just two properties per year. The properties were chosen from among numerous candidates by the HHA Preservation Committee, chaired by Sara Sweeney, R.A., with final approval given by the HHA Board of Directors.
The HHA has been bestowing Preservation Awards since 1986. The awards may be based on the quality or extent of restoration, the impact on the surrounding neighborhood or community, the degree to which demolition or loss was prevented or history was preserved, or a combination of these criteria.