Surviving Clusters of Shotgun Houses


Birthplace of Elvis – shotgun house in Tupelo, MS – Source: en.wikipedia.org

The shotgun house, or shotgun shack is an easily recognizable long and narrow residential dwelling style that was most commonly constructed in the Deep South and along/near the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys in the decades between the end of the Civil War and start of World War II.  With African and Haitian roots, these vernacular structures are most often synonymous with New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite numerous losses from Hurricane Katrina, a 2007 book published by the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans indicates more than 25,000 still exist throughout the city.

Shotgun houses of New Orleans – Source: pinterest.com

Second to New Orleans, the largest cluster of these historic and functional dwellings can be found in Louisville, Kentucky, where more than 8,000 remain today. Beyond these two nodes, there are smaller clusters located in a number of cities and towns. The list provided below identifies those located by the author through internet searches. It is not meant to be all-inclusive, but as a centralized database from which to compile a more complete and accurate list.  Any and all additions or corrections to the list are always welcome.

Row of brick shotgun houses in Louisville – Source: en.wikipedia.org

While researching these fascinating homes, it became apparent that if done correctly, shotgun homes could be an excellent option for providing workforce and/or affordable housing to many locales currently lacking such “missing middle” housing. Their narrow and linear footprint is conducive to urban and rural situations, particularly narrow urban lots or for infill developments. Variations include the traditional single barrel style, double barrel which is essentially two shotgun houses side-by-side, and an camelback, which has a second story in the mid-section of the shotgun house. On the interior, shotgun houses most often contained between two (2) and four (4) bays for living purposes, each extending behind the next and traditionally without an interconnecting hallway.

Typical floorpan – Source: en.wikipedia.org

Three (3) new developments of shotgun houses were also identified during research and are included in the list below – I am sure there are others. These have been or are being developed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Ozark, Alabama. Other communities are seeing the benefit of restoring their existing stock of shotgun houses both as a form of revitalization and for providing middle-income housing opportunities. Save Our Shotguns in Apalachicola, Florida appears to be a leader in this kind of effort.

New shotgun houses in the Freetown section of Lafayette, LA – Source: facebook.com

Hopefully, more cities will strive to preserve their iconic shotgun houses.  They serve not only as a historic reminder of yesterday, but also as a potential solution to the affordable housing issues of today. More on that topic in a follow-up blogpost. Peace, my friends.

Link to a children’s book on shotgun houses.

Neighborhoods with Clusters of Shotgun Homes

  • Allendale in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Arsenal Hill in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Baker Street Bottoms in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
  • Bayou St. John in New Orleans
  • Beauregard in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Bethlehem in Augusta, Georgia
  • Blankenship Homes in Ozark, Alabama – new development
  • Brownsville in Pensacola, Florida
  • Butchertown in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Bywater in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Cabbagetown in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Cairo, Illinois
  • Campground Historic District in Mobile, Alabama
  • Carondelet in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Central Avenue in Madison, Indiana
  • Centennial Hill in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Cleveland Street in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Clifton in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Creekside Creole Cottages in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – new development
  • Davis Bottom in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Delmar-Lema in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Dorothea Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Dunbar in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • East Highlands-Bonny Doon in Columbus, Georgia
  • East Wilson Historic District/Vick Street in Wilson, North Carolina
  • Elmwood Park in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Esplanade Ridge in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Evergreen Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Farish Street Historic District in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Faubourg St. Roch in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Filipinotown in Los Angeles, California
  • Freedman’s Town in Houston, Texas
  • Freetown-SpringHill in Lafayette, Louisiana – new development
  • French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Frenchtown in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Garvinwood/East Indiana Avenue in Evansville, Indiana
  • Germantown in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Germantown in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Germantown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Greenlaw in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Happy Hill/Humphrey Street in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Harrisburg (Fenwick Street) in Augusta, Georgia
  • Highland Park Mill Village in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Hill/Northside in Apalachicola, Florida
  • Historic Bottoms in Columbus, Georgia
  • Hollygrove in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Holy Cross in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Hyde Park in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Jackson Square in Covington, Kentucky
  • Lincolnville Historic District in St. Augustine, Florida
  • Main Street in Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • Mechanicsville in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Merrimack Hill Historic Village in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Mid-City in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Midtown in New Albany, Indiana
  • Martin Luther King NHP in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Near South in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Northwest Historic District in Quincy, Illinois
  • Northwest Quadrant in Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Oakley Street in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Old North in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Old Town North in Key West, Florida
  • Overtown in Sarasota, Florida
  • Paducah, Kentucky
  • Peabody Street in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Phoenix Hill in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Pleasant Hill in Macon, Georgia
  • Pleasant Street Historic District in Gainesville, Florida
  • Portland in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Reynoldstown in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Roanoke Park in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Rock Springs, Wyoming
  • Salem Town in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Sand Springs Widow’s Colony in Sand Springs, Oklahoma
  • Scott Street in McKeesport, Pennsylvania
  • Seville Historic District in Pensacola, Florida
  • Shotgun Row in Covington, Kentucky
  • Smoketown in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Smokey Hollow in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Spanish Town in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Strawberry Hill in Kansas City Kansas
  • The Hill in St. Louis, Missouri
  • The Nations in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Third Ward in Houston, Texas (may have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey)
  • Tindall Heights in Macon, Georgia
  • Treme in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Vance-Ponotoc in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Ville Historic District-Billups Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Walker Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Walltown/Berkeley Street in Durham, North Carolina
  • Watts House Project in Los Angeles
  • West Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida
  • Westside in Port Arthur, Texas (may have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey)
  • West Tampa in Tampa, Florida
  • Woodlawn Historic District in Natchez, Mississippi
  • Wyatt Street in Waxahachie, Texas
  • Ybor City State Museum in Tampa, Florida
  • York Street Historic District in Newport, Kentucky

SOURCES:

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This entry was posted in adaptive reuse, Africa, architecture, art, cities, culture, density, diversity, economics, geography, historic preservation, history, homelessness, Housing, humanity, infrastructure, land use, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, revitalization, spatial design, Statistics, urban planning, zoning and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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