The Creole House and the Jackson House occupy a site originally associated with the French Guard House which was built in 1726 behind the corps de garde, or police station, the forerunner of the Cabildo. In 1769, during the Spanish colonial period, a calabozo, or prison, covered the site. It was demolished in 1837.
Architecturally, the buildings are typical New Orleans residences of the antebellum period. They are both three-story structures with wide, overhanging eaves and wrought iron balconies at the second and third floor levels. The walls are of brick and the hipped roofs are covered with slate. Both structures have two-story slave quarters at the rear and share a courtyard with the adjoining Arsenal. It is probable that when the houses were built, the foundations of the old prison were utilized in the new constructions.
In 1988, the Creole House and the Jackson House, along with all other structures in the historic complex, were closed following a major fire in the Cabildo on May 11. Although the houses were not damaged, they were included in the five-year restoration project that ensued. Along with general refurbishment, the buildings were installed with state of the art climate controls, safety and security features.