The Jackson Rooming House, noted for being the “Boarding House of the Celebrities,” housed only well-known black entertainers and civil rights leaders, such as Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway. The residence, located at 851 Zack Street in Tampa, Florida, was designed and built by Sarah and Moses Jackson and passed down from generation to generation. In 2007, the home was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Although the house was originally structured with six bedrooms when it was built in 1901, as the establishment became more popular, additional rooms were added. The Jackson boarding house closed its doors in 1989. The estimated cost to restore the house was over $900,000, so the building has yet to be refurbished.
A debate continues between the local black community and city officials about the boarding house. The mayor wants the barely-standing home to be torn down; however, he is willing to work with those who are trying to restore the residence.”As long as they’re making progress, we’ll continue to work with them,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn to The Tampa Bay Times. Nevertheless, the fate of the boarding house has yet to be determined.