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The Robert H. Jackson Center Jamestown, New York
The Robert H. Jackson Center, incorporated in 2001, is the global source of information on the life, words, work and legacy of Robert H. Jackson. The Jackson Center is located in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, Jackson’s adult hometown.
Two benefactors had the vision that created the Jackson Center: Carl M. Cappa and Elizabeth S. Lenna. They believed that Robert H. Jackson, one of the most engaging, accomplished, permanently significant lives in United States and world history, should be honored prominently in Jamestown, and that knowledge of Jackson’s life and ideas should be actively advanced by a significant institution. To those ends, each contributed $500,000 to establish the Jackson Center. The Gebbie Foundation made a comparable investment to support the Jackson Center’s early operations.
A historic building, the Scottish Rite Consistory, which had been home to several Masonic orders since the 1920s, was purchased and became the Jackson Center. The building originally was the Alonzo Kent Mansion, and was built in the 1860s (described here in this essay). The physical location of the Jackson Center in this structure is especially fitting because it was a Jackson location—Robert H. Jackson was a Mason (ultimately receiving the 33rd degree) who belonged to the Consistory and often was in the building.
In 2001, however, the once-elegant mansion and its connected buildings needed repairs. After major work, supported by the Sheldon Foundation, New York State and generous individual benefactors, the Jackson Center now features new roofing, windows and insulation, full accessibility, permanent and temporary exhibit galleries, an archives facility, modern wiring, air conditioning, a renovated theater, a renovated banquet room, a formal front parlor, a library and a bookstore.
The Jackson Center also features two conference rooms. The Ulysses S. Grant Room is the formal dining room in which Alonzo Kent hosted President Grant in 1875. The Jamestown Bar Association Room, refurbished and equipped through the generosity of an organization that Robert H. Jackson once headed, is available for continuing legal education events, local school programs, and other gatherings. Jackson Center facilities are available and used often for community functions and meetings.
The Robert H. Jackson Center is tax-exempt under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- The Robert H. Jackson Center 2001-07
A summary of the history and accomplishments of the Jackson Center since its founding in 2001