At the time of purchase, I did plenty of internet research about the history of shotgun houses. I want to share what I learned with you. Part of what makes this neighborhood historic was the period these houses were built along with the traditional layouts and floor plans.
A classic shotgun style home would have only 3 rooms: Front Bedroom, Kitchen, and Living Room. Occasionally, the living room would be located at the front of the home.
Historically additions were added as fourth rooms to the side of the home. In this case, our home had both an addition and an upper floor, which offered 2 additional bedrooms.
You may remember from the previous post…this upper addition of a second floor over the back portion of the home is referred to as a “camel back”. So our home has 2 additional bedrooms.
The interior doorways would traditionally all line-up so that a single mythical “shot” could be fired into the front door and exit out the back door…our house was a little more chopped up than this…here is the original floor plan below.
You may notice the tiny bathroom on the North side of the property. This was likely an addition to the home. Although bathrooms did not exist within these homes at the turn of the 20th century, they were added to large hallways as indoor latrines became more commonplace. Not only did we decide to expand the kitchen into the original bathroom, but I designed a Master Bath to occupy the unused space in a large and grandiose hallway.
The hallway was really unique because of it’s high ceilings. There was evidence of really interesting hardwood floor tiles, but they had deteriorated so badly that I felt adding a Master Suite with a bathroom would add the most value to the house for a modern lifestyle. The high ceilings in the Master and Guest Baths also lend some charm to the rooms themselves.
The updated Floor plan below shows how we decided to open up the Living Space and Kitchen. We expanded the kitchen into the small bathroom to provide an open L-shaped work triangle. Next, the guest bath was shifted into a small section of the hallway and we constructed a linen closet at the base of the stairs. From the front of the house to the back we lined up the interior doors, which allowed us to move the exterior side door back into the original placement within the property.
Doing a floor plan remotely is more challenging than you may think. There are additional windows on the South side of the property that I only discovered upon traveling to see the residence early Autumn of 2013.
Here you can see how the crowded kitchen looked before the renovation.
and large hallways…as you can see, the hallway was large enough to be used as a dining room at one point.
Once the demolition began, we had lots of dated wood paneling, ceilings and floors to be removed!
If you missed my first 2 Renovation Story posts…you can begin reading here.
Come back next week, for an updated look at the interior demolition.