The Shotgun House Night Thread (6/7/22)

A shotgun house is a style of house designed for maximum lot-space efficiency. Common in New Orleans and across the Deep South, they usually appeared in traditionally African-American neighborhoods and proliferated between the end of the Civil War and WWI. A traditional shotgun house is approximately 12 feet (one room) wide, with the rooms stacked up single file behind one another. The doors all line up to allow for a nice cross-breeze when the doors are open, and the “shotgun house” is so named, according to popular lore (but disputed by architecture historians), because one could fire a bullet through the front door, and it could exit the back door without ever hitting anything.

In addition to the traditional shotgun house, like this one

I’m just a room, standing in front of another room, asking it to cross-breeze.

there are variations such as the “double-barrel shotgun house” (a shotgun-style duplex with a shared front porch)

and the “camelback shotgun house,” which has a second story built onto the rear of the house.

When shotgun houses first arose, indoor plumbing wasn’t really a thing, so most historical shotgun houses have a bathroom added on to the back somewhere. Shotgun houses also typically don’t have hallways, so to get from one room to the next requires going through each room (again making the existence of bathrooms awkward). Shotgun houses fell out of favor after 1920 or so, probably because the aforementioned indoor plumbing was more-or-less readily available in the US by the 1930s or so. But with today’s tiny house fervor, they might just make a comeback — and they should, because they’re adorable!

Have a great Night Thread, Avocados!