Shotgun homes, New Orleans LA
The architectural style that is most synonymous with the New Orleans area is the shotgun, either single or double. Shotguns fit perfectly onto the narrow lots that made up early New Orleans, often with only 25-30 feet of frontage but typically with a depth of at least 100 feet. The front width of a lot was used in the original property tax assessment in Orleans Parish, so building widths were kept to a minimum. Most of these homes originally had very few or no closets, with residents using armoires for storage.
What’s a shotgun house?
A “shotgun house” is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than 12 feet wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other and doors at each end of the house. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War (1861–65), through the 1920s.
Over the years, many of the shotguns in and around NOLA have been renovated and remodeled to fit a more modern lifestyle, but many of them still have some of the original details (pine floors, fireplace fronts, mantels, transom doors) that make them ubiquitous in the city. Not limited to the city proper, you’ll find shotguns all over the West Bank as well, especially in Algiers, Gretna and older sections of Harvey and Marrero along the river.