Building on History: Call It A Son of a Shotgun

"It's quicker for developers to rip an old house down," says Brett Zamore, 34, who renovated a house built in the shotgun style--first used by African-American settlers in the early 1800s--for his Rice University grad-school thesis. "But houses like the shotgun have strengths and character" as well as the potential, he says, to be prototypes for responsible modern living--and for rebuilding hurricane-hit communities on the Gulf Coast.

The shotgun is smart. Take its ventilation. The house, perched above the ground on concrete-block piers, has doors in the front and back, windows in all rooms and wood-sheathed walls with no insulation. In...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!