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The "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.


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Shotgun style Italianate Cottage, Norton Commons, Louisville by rllayman, via Flickr

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Larry Sass' shotgun house, designed for the MoMA

now and then | Daily Bread

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vintage shotgun house in Hyde Park

The houses are notorious for their layout which requires passage through each room to reach either end of the house. They were originally designed this way for ventilation purposes to make the intense heat of New Orleans summers more tolerable in the era predating air conditioning.

A shotgun house is a nickname for a long narrow house with sequential rooms and no hallway. The nickname comes from the idea that if you stood at the front door and fired a shotgun the buck would fly out the back door without hitting the house.

Tiny House Design

Long and narrow, shotgun houses are made to fit small city building lots.