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  • Ellen Mirro

Creole Cottages and Shotguns

From my snapshots from our visit to New Orleans during the AIA convention, here are some colorful cottages we saw in the Faubourg Marigny National Historic District. Translated literally from French, “faubourg” would mean “false city,” and this term was used to describe a “suburb.” Faubourg Marigny was a former plantation that was subdivided and developed in the early 1800s. This district was popular with New Orleans’ Creole population and included a large population of free persons-of-color.

Creole cottages are a house form believed to have been brought to New Orleans from Santo Domingo (Haiti) around 1800. Typically these homes are set close to the sidewalk, have an overhang on the front, and have four rooms (two in the front and two in the back) whose uses could change with the seasons and family needs.

Shotguns are a very narrow house form, usually no wider than 12 feet. Typically, shotguns have four rooms arranged in a row perpendicular to the sidewalk. Many of these homes were built in Faubourg Marigny between the mid 1800s and about 1920.

Check back soon for another post on New Orleans.

Creole cottages with porches line many streets here.


A hall was added to the side of this shotgun; the entry originally would have been in front.


If you look carefully, you will see the Katrina survey mark on this cottage, a sad reminder. This neighborhood was flooded and has recovered. Most of the survey marks in this area have been painted out.


Lots of color!


Sort of looks like a bungalow?


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