“It’s gonna be a really big shew” this Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23, 2017 in Faubourg St. John.   For those too young to recognized the quote, please check out the video below.

Ed Sullivan was a broadcasting pioneer at many levels during television’s infancy. As TV critic David Bianculli wrote, “Before MTV, Sullivan presented rock acts. Before Bravo, he presented jazz and classical music and theater. Before the Comedy Channel, even before there was the Tonight Show, Sullivan discovered, anointed and popularized young comedians. Before there were 500 channels, before there was cable, Ed Sullivan was where the choice was. From the start, he was indeed ‘the Toast of the Town’.” In 1996, Sullivan was ranked number 50 on TV Guide’s “50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time”.

“It’s gonna be a really big shew” this Saturday and Sunday in Faubourg St. John.

There will be food, drinks, and peeks into fancy houses in Faubourg St. John. What could be more fun?

SoBou will be providing beer, cocktails and wine in Fortier Park this Saturday and Sunday (Apr 22 &23)

All proceeds go to improving Desmare Playground at 3456 Esplanade

Preservation Resource Center’s Shotgun House Tour – April 22-23, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., 3201 Esplanade Ave. — The self-guided tour will feature seven renovated shotgun houses in Faubourg St. John. Tickets are $20 for PRC members, $25 for non-members in advance at prcno.org or $30 at tour headquarters during the event.

Homes on Tour
(click on each address for more information)

3356 Esplanade (John Miller)
1320 N. Rendon (Linda and Malcolm Burns)
1317 N. Rendon (Beth Parrott)
932 Moss (Jamie and Michael Tubre)
3123 St. Philip (Mirell and Augie Gallo)
2835 Esplanade (Jill Dupre and Josh Mayer)
3129 Ponce de Leon (Sue Gaden)


There will be food, drinks, and peeks into fancy houses in Faubourg St. John. What could be more fun?

On Saturday, April 22nd, food will be available next to Fortier Park from Grilling Shilling.  Grilling Shilling is owned by Richard Shelling who has 31 years of meat and seafood experience. All items are fresh never frozen. Grilling Shilling has a variety of freshly made healthy items such as chicken-salmon burgers, chicken burgers and turkey burgers. In addition to our ribs and delicious burgers, Grilling Shilling is also known for their pulled pork and wide variety of fish from Mahi Mahi to Talapia.    Many thanks to Barrie Schwartz of My House Social for arranging to have Grilling Shilling at Fortier Park on Saturday, April 22, 2017.


On Sunday, April 23rd, food will be available next to Fortier Park from Diva Dawg. Diva Dawg food truck is the first and only hot dog food truck in New Orleans which features gourmet creole style hot dogs. They have a signature all beef creole hot dog called the ‘Diva Dawg’ that is paired with a sweet and savory bun and creole New Orleans toppings. Diva Dawg is the home of the original Red Bean Chili dawg topped with fried chicken. They also have Étouffée fries with crawfish, Crabmeat grill cheesy and Praline Candy Shake. They say, “It’s not a hot dog…..it’s a Diva Dawg“.    Many thanks to Barrie Schwartz of My House Social for arranging to have Diva Dawg at Fortier Park on Sunday, April 23, 2017.


Chef Johnson’s Truck is serving the streets of New Orleans his acclaimed selection of Cajun cuisine that’s cooked slow and served quick. His entire menu is free of chemicals, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and anything you can’t pronounce (Cajun vernacular aside). A few of the local faves include the luscious Lobster Cheeseburger, Johnson Jambalaya, Deep South Un-Fried Chicken, Mac ‘n Cheese (with your choice of andouille, lobsta, chilli, etc..) For all this and much more, come on out to Chef Johnson’s Truck and indulge your cravings for the best Cajun grub from the bayou. Many thanks to Barrie Schwartz of My House Social for arranging to have Diva Dawg at Fortier Park on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Faubourg St. John neighbors Winter and Greg Jeanfreau along with Meg Seydel chair the 2017 Shotgun House Tour in Faubourg St. John on April 22 and April 23, 2017.

shotgun house tour in faubourg st. johnYou can tour seven private homes in beautiful Faubourg St. John that showcase the livability and versatility of New Orleans’ historic architecture and iconic shotgun houses.

Event Chairs
Winter & Greg Jeanfreau and Meg Seydel

Support the Preservation Resource Center as a Shotgun House Tour Sponsor!

Advance tickets: $20 for PRC members, $25 for non-members
*Advance ticket sales close at 12 noon on Friday, April 21

On the days of the tour, all tickets are $30, available at tour headquarters. Tickets are valid for either day or both days during the weekend of the tour. Shotgun House Tour is a fundraiser for PRC’s mission to improve New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods.

Sponsors receive incredible publicity from this event, including months of advance publicity and direct exposure to over 1,000 participants over two days. The sponsor levels and benefits are outlined in the Sponsor Packet below. If you have any questions, please contact Sarina Mohan at 504.636.3059 or smohan@prcno.org

The Shotgun Tour needs over 100 volunteers to work as docents in the tour homes throughout the weekend. In exchange for three hours of your time, you receive one FREE ticket to the tour.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Cockrill at 504.636.3397 or rcockrill@prcno.org

For more information, please visit the link below:


shotgun house tour in faubourg st. john


by Richard Campanella, courtesy NOLA.com

Few elements of the New Orleans cityscape speak to the intersection of architecture, sociology and geography so well as the shotgun house. Once scorned, now cherished, shotguns shed light on patterns of cultural diffusion, class and residential settlement, social preferences and construction methods.

The shotgun house is not an architectural style; rather, it is a structural typology — what folklorist John Michael Vlach described as “a philosophy of space, a culturally determined sense of dimension.”

A typology, or type, may be draped in any fashion. Thus we have shotgun houses adorned in Italianate, Eastlake and other styles, just as there are Creole and Federalist style townhouses, and Spanish colonial and Greek revival cottages.

Tradition holds that the name “shotgun” derives from the notion of firing bird shot through the front door and out the rear without touching a wall. The term itself postdates the shotgun’s late-19th-century heyday, not appearing in print until the early 20th century.

According to some theories, cultures that produced shotgun houses (and other residences without hallways, such as Creole cottages) tended to be more gregarious, or at least unwilling to sacrifice valuable living space for the purpose of occasional passage.

Cultures that valued privacy, on the other hand, were willing to make this trade-off. When they arrived in New Orleans in the early 19th century, for example, privacy-conscious peoples of Anglo-Saxon descent brought with them the American center-hall cottage and side-hall townhouse, in preference over local Creole designs.

In the 1930s, LSU geographer Fred B. Kniffen studied shotguns as part of his field research on Louisiana folk housing. He and other researchers proposed a number of hypotheses explaining the origin and distribution of this distinctive house type.

One theory, popular with tour guides and amateur house-watchers, holds that shotgun houses were designed in New Orleans in response to a real estate tax based on frontage rather than square footage, motivating narrow structures. There’s one major problem with this theory. No one can seem to find that tax code.

Shotgun House Tour in Faubourg St. JohnCould the shotgun be an architectural response to narrow urban lots? Indeed, you can squeeze in more structures with a slender design. But why then do we see shotguns in rural fields with no such limits?

Could it have evolved from indigenous palmetto houses or Choctaw huts? Unlikely, given their appearance in the Caribbean and beyond.

Could it have been independently invented? Roberts & Company, a New Orleans sash and door fabricator formed in 1856, developed blueprints for prefabricated shotgun-like houses in the 1860s to 1870s and even won awards for them at international expositions. But then why do we see “long houses” in the rear of the French Quarter and in Faubourg Treme as early as the 1810s?

Or, alternately, did the shotgun diffuse from the Old World as peoples moved across the Atlantic and brought with them their building culture, just as they brought their language, religion and foodways? Vlach noted the abundance of shotgun-like long houses in the West Indies, and traced their essential form to the enslaved populations of St. Domingue (now Haiti) who had been removed from the western and central African regions of Guinea and Angola.

His research identified a gable-roofed housing stock indigenous to the Yoruba peoples, which he linked to similar structures in modern Haiti with comparable rectangular shapes, room juxtapositions and ceiling heights.

Vlach hypothesizes that the 1809 exodus of Haitians to New Orleans after the St. Domingue slave insurrection of 1791 to 1803 brought this vernacular house type to the banks of the Mississippi. “Haitian migrants had only to continue in Louisiana the same life they had known in St. Domingue,” he wrote. “The shotgun house of Port-au-Prince became, quite directly, the shotgun house of New Orleans.”

The distribution of shotgun houses throughout Louisiana gives indirect support to the diffusion argument. Kniffen showed in the 1930s that shotguns generally occurred along waterways in areas that tended to be more Francophone in their culture, higher in their proportions of people of African and Creole ancestry, and older in their historical development.

Beyond state boundaries, shotguns occur throughout the lower Mississippi Valley, correlated with antebellum plantation regions and with areas that host large black populations. They also appear in interior Southern cities, most notably Louisville, Ky., which comes a distant second to New Orleans in terms of numbers and stylistic variety.

If in fact the shotgun diffused from Africa to Haiti through New Orleans and up the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, this is the distribution we would expect to see.

Cleary, poverty abets cultural factors in explaining this pattern. Simplicity of construction and conservation of resources (building materials, space) probably made the shotgun house equally attractive to poorer classes in many areas.

Indeed, it is possible that we may be artificially yoking together a wide variety of house types, unrelated in their provenance but similar in their appearance, by means of a catchy moniker coined after their historical moment.

Whatever their origins, shotgun singles and doubles came to dominate the turn-of-the-century housing stock of New Orleans’ working-class neighborhoods. Yet they were also erected as owned-occupied homes in wealthier areas, including the Garden District.

New Orleans shotguns in particular exhibited numerous variations: with hip, gable or apron roofs; with “camelbacks” to increase living space; with grand classical facades or  elaborate Victorian gingerbread. The variety can be explained as a strategy to address market demand with a multitude of options in terms of space needs, fiscal constraints and stylistic preferences.

New Orleanians by the 20th century, as part of their gradual Americanization, desired more privacy than their ancestors, and increasing affluence and new technologies — such as mechanized kitchens, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, automobiles and municipal drainage — helped form new philosophies about residential space.

Professional home builders responded accordingly, some adding hallways or ells or side entrances to the shotgun, others morphing it into the bungalow form. House-buyers came to disdain the original shotgun, and it faded from new construction during the 1910s and 1920s.

A Times-Picayune writer captured the prevailing sentiment in a 1926 column: “Long, slender, shotgun houses,” he sighed, “row upon row(,) street upon street…all alike… unpainted, slick-stooped, steep-roofed, jammed up together, like lumber in a pile.”

Architectural historians also rolled their eyes at prosaic shotguns, and did not protest their demolition, even in the French Quarter, as late as the 1960s.

In recent decades, however, New Orleanians have come to appreciate the sturdy construction and exuberant embellishment of their shotgun housing stock, and now value them as a key element of the cityscape.

Thousands have since been renovated, and the shotgun has experienced a recent revival. Some homes in the Make It Right project in the Lower 9th Ward, for example, were inspired by the shotgun (although rendered in modernist style), and some pre-fabricated “Katrina Cottages” and New Urbanist homes in recently rebuilt public housing complexes are made to look like the shotguns of old.

It’s revealing to note, however, that among the renovations New Orleanians now make to their shotguns is something completely alien to their original form.

They add a hallway.


Richard Campanella, a geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture and a Monroe Fellow with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, is the author of the forthcoming “Bourbon Street: A History” as well as “Bienville’s Dilemma,” “Geographies of New Orleans,” and other books. He may be reached through his website, rcampane@tulane.edu or @nolacampanella on Twitter.

Short URL: http://katrinafilm.com/public/wordpress/?p=32758

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