Houston Chronicle: Project Row Houses melds art and community in the Third Ward

Full article by Joy sewing


Historically, shotgun houses were much a part of the city's working-class African-American neighborhoods.

The tiny, narrow structures were a constant theme in the works of artist John Biggers, whose artistry transformed a symbol of poverty into one of pride in the black community, particularly in Third Ward. The houses were designed with rooms one behind the other, so the term "shotgun" referenced the idea that a gun could be fired straight through the house without hitting a wall.

They were also called row houses.

It was this symbolic architecture that captured the interest of artist Rick Lowe when he moved to Houston in 1985.