Save Our Shotguns Apalachicola is a non-profit 501(c)(3) working to preserve the historic structures of Apalachicola for the purpose of affordable housing. We are an all-volunteer organization dedicated to our mission to preserve historic structures, to create low and moderate income housing, and to provide training and jobs for local residents.
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save our shotguns update – august 2017
Save Our Shotguns Apalachicola Inc. (SOS) is a 501(c)3 all-volunteer, non-profit organization
dedicated to historic preservation and reproduction. Our mission is to create affordable energy-
efficient housing for current low- to moderate-income (Department of Agriculture guidelines)
residents of Franklin County and to provide apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.
Restoration/reproduction will be accomplished via local contractors, and an independent-of-
SOS citizens group will work in concert with the Centennial Bank and SHIP to vet potential
mortgage-holders. The shotguns will carry a deed restriction, ensuring that they remain
affordable housing in perpetuity.
Currently, SOS is preparing a lot at 151 13th Street (Block 81, Lot 8) on which to build a
reproduction of an iconic Apalachicola shotgun. Throughout the April 2017 PEARLS (Preserving
and Embracing Apalachicola’s Rich Legacy of Shotguns) celebration of the cultural significance
of shotgun houses, the community generously provided SOS with funds and a line of credit
which will enable completion of this first project.
Many of the shotgun houses on the Hill are beyond salvation, and most of those that could be
saved are not available for acquisition due to not being on the market, title problems or being
too expensive to result in affordable housing. For example, at this time, there are four available
shotguns standing in a row on 8th Street on the Hill, however they are non-compliant with the
plat in that - due to a lack of a few feet - they are not divisible into four compliant lots without
code changes. Without such changes, these four houses cannot be sold individually. The
necessary change is an historic overlay which would apply only to a few situations on the Hill
and only in cases where two or more pre-1950 houses stand on one 60’x100’ lot or on a less-
than-60’x100’ lot. Shotgun houses were Apalachicola’s original affordable housing and the
cultural backbone of the Hill. Our intent is to renew or reproduce these structures. The 8th
Street four-house restoration would serve as a test case. If successful, it could be the key to
enabling more restoration on the Hill. Assigning this year’s community block grant funding to
securing these four houses would guarantee preservation of an important piece of the
workforce housing culture.
SOS is concerned with the attrition rate of historic homes on the Hill, and our current
reproduction project is intended to help stem the tide of this loss. Just recently the City has lost
three historic homes to demolition in the 8th street neighborhood (Block 165, Lots 7 and 10),
and two fine examples of shotguns on Avenue M (Block 175, Lot 6) are slated for destruction.
Without an intervention by the City Commission in the form of a simple overlay, the four 8th
Street shotguns will meet a similar fate.
SOS continues to seek tax-deductible gifts of land or antique houses within the historic district,
money or lines of credit to further the mission.
preserving and embracing apalachicola's rich legacy of shotguns
pearls -- a showcase of Apalachicola's shotgun and other historic houses to raise awareness of their history, simple beauty and usefulness for the creation of affordable housing.
pearls -- a month-long celebration of the culture and history of Apalachicola as exemplified through its early 20th century shotgun houses, featuring art and history exhibits, painting workshops, a symposium, walking tours, music, oral histories and a opening and closing parties, all free to the public.
pearls -- bringing together urban planners, historians, architects, artists and local residents to encourage discovery of this important overlooked piece of Apalachicola history, and to set in motion an overall strategy for saving Apalachicola's historic structures for practical as well as cultural preservation purposes.
we're planning another pearls celebration for April 2018,
but for now, you can still:
- Find the shotguns on your own with our Walking Tour Map available in many locations downtown including the History, Culture and Art Center, Chamber of Commerce, Apalachicola Library and Downtown Books. It is also available here by clicking on "History" and then "Walking Tour."
- Visit and view the Historic Photo Exhibit at the Holy Family Center.
- View and listen to recordings of many of our PEARLS events as we post them on this website.
- Email us at email@example.com with Apalachicola House History to be entered on our Interactive Map.