Antedating of "shotgun house" 1903
nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Sat Apr 10 21:50:49 UTC 2004
> > The essential idea that the rooms are all in a row seems to be
>>central to the idea of the shotgun house. (I've never heard of a shotgun
>>apartment.) I've heard the suggestion that they are so-called because a
>>shot fired through the front door would go out the rear door, but I
>>suppose the tubular layout concept is also consistent with the evidence.
>While not using the term "shotgun," my father, in a memoir of life in
>Chicago in the 1890s, describes an apartment that might meet the definition:
>"In that district of Chicago's South Side that lay near the Exposition
>grounds the blocks ran twelve to the mile and the flats ran back to the
>alley. Allow twenty feet behind for a cinder yard to beat carpets in, and
>fifteen feet in front for grass, and you can calculate the length of the
>corridor that ran from front to rear of each flat and joined its single
>line of seven rooms, bath and lumber-room like beads on a string."
And many of the apartments and apartment buildings in Hyde Park (some
part of "that district of Chicago's South Side that lay near the
Exposition grounds") can still be described in this way.
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