The Loss of Rocky Mount’s Shotgun Housing Must Stop

The needle of appreciation moved when The Fixer Upper HGTV show from Waco, TX, featured a shotgun on the show. (on right)

In this era of alternative living space options, like the rentable River & Twine Tiny Houses at Rocky Mount Mills, the public has become intrigued with minimalism.

Tiny Houses at Rocky Mount Mills

We continue to make a serious mistake to ignore our shotgun inventory, which offers this minimalist square footage. Throughout Wards 1-4 there is a plethora of abandoned, boarded up shotguns in various states of disrepair. Maybe worse, someone is living in them in terrible condition. I’ve decided that a lack of community enthusiasm is because shotguns were viewed as housing for lower class people, which today, makes them seem undesirable. Many were demolished for that reason. In fact, this housing is now viewed as a significant contribution to American architecture. They are an answer for work force housing, singles, a couple starting out or retiring, and professionals working downtown. Shame on the Councilmen who follow the housing policy…what’s in it for me? They have failed to champion these assets. Below are several Rocky Mount Shotguns, far from the worst. Also the New Orleans shotguns with gingerbread details. For inspiration, I continue to show you the New Orleans shotguns that make the point that with eyes to see, saving Rocky Mount’s shotguns fills a need we have.

I am envious of the Preservation efforts in New Orleans. The photographs below speak for themselves. I can hope that the upcoming election for city council will move our housing from a talking point to an authentic priority. If the grants available and leadership take action, this housing can be saved.

Writing about this housing hasn’t produced a ground swell, which Pollyanna here, thought it would. I have another plan now, without involving costly consultant firms that take us down the rabbit hole. We can do this! The results will be little jewels across the city and a source of great pride. I just know it!

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