Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Albany Shotgun homes – They’re Loaded

Reference “New Albany” and “Shotgun” in the same sentence and most will assume you are talking about New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July, when shotguns fired in the air double for fireworks.

But I’m not talking about the New Albany celebratory salute now. The historic neighborhoods of New Albany contain approximately 500 Shotgun style homes. These homes are typically narrow, one-story with each room placed behind the other. Often, the doors in each room line up. So if you opened all the doors and fired your shot gun through the front door – the shot would pass through the house. Hence the name, “Shotgun” home.

The home style is experiencing a renaissance in many parts of the country. It has always been celebrated and loved in many Louisville neighborhoods, especially the German Paristown neighborhood (they even have an annual Shotgun festival).

In the resource and green conscience world we now live in, smaller has tremendous advantages. Less space to heat and cool is the obvious benefit. And, let’s be honest, the homes are dirt cheap. Baby boomers are aging and downsizing their housing. A modernized Shotgun has appeal.

In an effort to bring attention to New Albany Shotgun homes, Preservation Month organizers have coordinated an exciting forum and workshop in May.

From the Preservation Month media advisory –
Monday, May 5th - Preservation Conversation #1: Reinventing the Shotgun House for Contemporary Living, Cornerstone Evangelical Methodist Church, 418 East Spring Street, New Albany, 7:00 – 8:30 PM.

As a kick-off to the focus on shotgun style homes during National Preservation Month 2008, Patricia Gaye, Executive Director, Preservation Resource Center, New Orleans, presents stories of her experiences with shotguns in New Orleans and the results of efforts to increase awareness of their value to the New Orleans culture. Since many New Albany neighborhoods feature (approximately 500) shotgun style houses, what value is its cultural contribution to the City? What efforts can the City implement to strengthen awareness of their value and affordable, modern livability? Free and Open to the Public.

Tuesday, May 6th - Pizza and Preservation: Reinventing the Shotgun House for Contemporary Living, shotgun house of Ron Stiller, architect and presenter, 2112 Elm Street, New Albany, 6:15 PM – 8:30 PM.

Ron Stiller explains the shotgun’s strengths as modern living space and demonstrates the interior changes that maintain the character, as well as the potential, for responsible modern needs.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Pizza and beverage will be served. Reservations required by calling Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana - 284 4534.

More shotgun related reading ---

Architectural Descriptions, Floor Plans and Photographs

Recent posting by Bluegill over at NAC

The Shotgun House Project in New Orleans

Brett Zamore Design LLC - A Modern Update of a Shotgun


bluegill said...

Here's a modern example from architect Brett Zamore that was featured in Dwell Magazine.

There are other cool small houses on his site.

TedF said...

Thanks Bluegill. I added the link to the posting too.