Historic Places

Shotgun Houses in the U.S.

A “shotgun house” is a narrow rectangular residence, usually no more than about 12 feet (3.5 m) 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, and may have originated in Haiti.

A shotgun house in Capitol Hill, Arkansas.

A shotgun house in Capitol Hill, Arkansas.

There are many large neighborhoods in older American cities of the south which still contain a high concentration of shotgun houses today, including the Third Ward in Houston, Texas; Bywater in New Orleans, Louisiana; The Hill in St. Louis, Missouri; Portland, Butchertown, and Germantown in Louisville, Kentucky; and Cabbagetown in Atlanta, Georgia.

Click the states below to explore shotgun houses across the United States:

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