The New Home of 3 Freedman’s Town Shotgun Shacks

Maybe they’re not ready for tenants to move in, but these Fourth Ward shotgun houses seem to have avoided demolition and potential displacement to find a new home in Freedman’s Town. Originally located on Victor St., just a few blocks south of this formerly vacant lot at 1414 Robin St., the 3 houses weren’t doing much at the rear of the site of the proposed 5-story mixed-use Dolce Living development. A rep from the Fourth Ward Redevelopment Authority says that the houses were donated to the authority by the owners and will be preserved and renovated into low-income housing; designs for the new bathrooms and porches are already underway, the rep says.


Photos: Allyn West

18 Comment

  • Where is the red tag? I can have a lighbulb outside a property that’s 60w vs. the required 90w and have 100 red tags by lunch :-)

  • We need to preserve history and strike a balance with future development.
    I think we should preserve a couple of lots and the shotgun houses on them. Hand them over to the city and make a mini-park / museum. Explain the Freedman’s Town story at the houses/museum. Make a neighborhood walking trail (with placards and maps at each location) with highlights like Jack Yates house (now in Sam Houston park), Bethel church/park, the cemetery, etc. Heck, I actually think you should keep a couple of the run down shotgun houses (made inaccessible of course) to highlight how the neighborhood became crack-infested / rundown.
    All this would do wonders for the area without stopping the redevelopment. The location is too valuable to not redevelop and is beyond any state of even a half-preservation. Highlight what we can and redevelop the rest.

  • I am all for preserving history, but honestly, does anyone want to live in one of these? I’m not trying to be rude/insensitive/uppity, but aren’t there better alternatives for low income housing? Is retrofitting a bathroom & kitchen into this tiny house better than building new apartments, etc.?

  • Seriously?

  • These will serve as feel-good projects for those that believe that token low income people need to live in city centers.

  • DNAguy nailed it.

  • They should put all three together in the heritage park along Buffalo Bayou where they will get much better public exposure. Why devalue the land in the revitalized 4th Ward?

  • Are you people that stupid? Residences of all kinds are often rehabilitated for new residents. What is it about a rehabilitated shotgun house in its redeveloped/redeveloping neighborhood do you not understand? It happens in the Heights, in Montrose, in the suburbs all the time.

  • Got to love the recycled gallery furniture signs they’re using as a roof (covering), quite fetching. I thought these were being moved out, not in, but cool nonetheless.

  • i don’t find anything offensive about this, but perhaps i’m misunderstanding something. these are donated homes being placed on currently vacant lots belonging to a non-profit to be re-habed for low-income folks, correct?

    it all sounds great to me and though i’m not one for preservation, i’d certainly prefer it to be in an area like this with some real history as opposed to most of our more recent historical preservation areas.

    as for the quality of the housing, if you think there’s enough low-income housing to go around in this city where folks aren’t already living in dumps just like these without the rehab then you need to get out more…a LOT more.

  • This is such a waste of money. BTW – 4th Ward Redevelopment Agency is technically a “non-profit government corporation” — it is funded through taxes, just like all the other “non-profit” government agencies in Austin and Washington.

  • Tear down the Astrodome, but save the crackhouses! Only in Houston…

  • I bet they’re stronger than you think! Wood was of a much better quality back then…the floors are probably long leaf yellow pine!

  • That is the perfect size house, mine is about 800 sq.ft.

  • Some comments on this post and others seem to be an awful lot like a Charles Dickens novel we are all familiar with….”who cares about the orphans and poor people, there are too many of them anyway, and a few less won’t hurt”. We have come a long way since the Christmas Carol was written haven’t we?

  • Some of those old wooden houses have a smell that permeates the whole place.

    And I’m not talking about a good smell.

  • DNAguy has the best idea