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A single dad, Realtor, music aficionado, gourmet cook, University of Maryland grad who is intelligent, honest and fun. I love technology, black and white movies, my kids, and making buying or selling a home easy for people. Read more >>

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Shotgun Houses: New Orleans Inovation

The tree lined streets of New Orleans are home to the shotgun style of house. Named after a misheard African word shogun that translates to the assembly place, the style grew out of African and Haitian influences and was mainly constructed in the 19th century. These are some of the basic architectural features you find in shotgun style homes.

Exterior Looking at a shotgun house, you first notice the porch. Narrow, with a roof apron supported by columns that are embellished by a combination of cornices, spindles, jigsaw or eaves brackets and other intricate moldings. They stand in sharp contrast to the plain look of the style's window less sides, hipped roof and wooden siding. The house itself is set on brick piers because of the flooding that is common to New Orleans.

Styles The basic style has several variations. You see duplex and double wide versions, the former, a double-barrel shotgun, being two residences sharing a wall and the latter a single residence that is the size of two standard shotguns. When a second floor is added to the rear portion of the structure it is called a Camelback. More elaborate versions also exist like the Eastlake style that includes gables and the Bracket style with its long overhanging roof.

Influences Other architectural styles were adapted into the shotgun style, most notably the Greek Revival and its cousin the Italianate. You can see these influences by looking at the front of a shotgun house. The Greek Revival, with its demand for symmetry, is seen in the equilateral triangle shape of the gable that is set on an entablature and rectangular columns. The Italianate influence is seen with Doric columns under the entablature and a parapet above the porch. In addition, windows and doors employ cornices when this style is evident.

Interior Since the house is one room wide and several rooms deep, there is not much variation to the interior. You can see the rear of the house when standing at the entrance on the gable end. Rooms are under 12 feet wide with doors or archways separating them. There are no hallways, so the bedroom is placed at the back of the house, or, in the case of a Camelback, on the second floor. The high ceilings and straight, open design, allow for air flow and ventilation during the hot New Orleans summers. Bathrooms were not part of the original design of this style and when added are placed by the kitchen, or as an addition to the back of the house.

Found in various areas of the Southern United States, the shotgun style house is most notable in New Orleans. It is the only truly African inspired architectural design in America, owing many of its elements to African and Haitian styles. The simplicity and effective use of available space created a functional living space. Over time, you can see other influences exerted on the basic style, adding ornamentation and added functionality. As you drive the streets of New Orleans, notice the many variations, usually by neighborhood, of the uniquely American architectural design.

 

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Looking for a new home? Check back here often to see our Featured Listings, or use my Dream Home Finder form and I'll conduct a personalized search for you. I have also provided a brief FAQ for first time buyers. Carroll County is one of the fastest growing areas in Maryland, close to both Washington DC and Baltimore, while retaining the slower pace of a semi-rural community. I also specialize in distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales, in addition to new construction and general resales.

If you're planning to sell your home in the next few months, nothing is more important than knowing a fair asking price. Through a combination of advanced search technology, strategic listing placement and old fashion personailized service, I use the most effective techniques to get you top dollar in a reasonable amount of time. I would love to help you with a FREE Staging Evaluation that can help you get the most money for your house.

As a paralegal, Customer First agent and FHA 203k Loan specialist, I deal extensively with property sales stemming from divorce, foreclosures and other legal actions, representing my clients in the purchase and sale of single-family residences and income property within Carroll County Maryland's southern area, including Eldersburg, Sykesville, Woodbine, New Windsor and Mt Airy.

I hope you enjoy your visit and contact me for any of your Carroll County real estate needs.

Kevin Hogan