Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MSD Demo watch: Today a 'Free Classic' Shotgun Cottage

Many think of the 'shotgun cottage' as "worker or low income housing, however this cottage illustrates that often this simple house form was often built at  variety of income levels In a day when smaller is better and smaller carbon footprint the cottage has become ever more popular.

The builder or architect of this cottage used a number of high style design cues to give this small house a grand presence. For example note the entrance is six steps above street level. Not only does this allow for one to be above the pedestrian noise it instantly gives the house and appearance of greater height.

Next note the front facade gable and the windows. Clearly the upper level was attic space originally yet the builder gave this front facade a free classic palladium window treatment with the center arched top with keystone window flanked by smaller windows . This style is most often reserved for a much larger homes yet in its reduced scale it works fine here.

Note the porch with its round slightly heavier columns that evokes the classic Colonial of Greek revival styles. This is combined with a nice carved door (underneath that storm door) and a larger front parlor window with transom that might have originally housed a leaded or stained glass window.

I have restored several of these cottages over the years and they are highly desired. In fact, one I restored several years ago just traded hands for over a quarter of a million dollars. Go to New Orleans where these  nicely detailed 'jewel box" houses routinely sell for 2-300K. In fact 73 homes were recently moved in New Orleans to make way for a new VA Hospital, many of them shotgun houses like this.

Note to MSD... other cities do not demo architecture like this for a 'glorified drainage ditch'.

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