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.
The American dream of home ownership is closer to reality for Florida Fish and Wildlife employee Kelly Williams. Last Friday, March 29, the 30 year-old biologist won the lottery for the opportunity to buy a brand new two-bedroom house in Apalachicola. The reproduction shotgun at 151 Willie Speed Boulevard was built by Save Our Shotguns Apalachicola Inc, a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to creating affordable energy-efficient housing and preserving the city’s historic structures. The house, appraised at $178,000, will be sold at cost for $125,000. To qualify, applicants had to earn less than $50,000, have lived or worked in Apalachicola for at least a year, not currently own a house, and pre-qualify for a mortgage. Three people pre-qualified and were entered in the drawing. Kelly’s name was picked out of a basket by Apalachicola resident Allen Jones, who helped finance the project, along with a myriad of donations from friends and supporters.
Pictured after the drawing from left to right: Melanie Williams of People’s South Bank, Attorney Barbara Sanders, Save Our Shotguns members Holly Brown and Peter Gallant, house lottery winner Kelly Williams, Save Our Shotguns members Pam Richardson and Creighton Brown, and Allen Jones.
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The SOS house, at 151 Willie Speed Boulevard (13th Street), whose dimensions were taken from a historic shotgun currently under reconstruction on the corner of Avenue M and 7th Street, features two bedrooms, a front porch, and iconic characteristics such as rooms one behind the other, long front windows, gingerbread trim and decorative columns. Glen Coxwell of Construct Group S. E., Inc is the contractor.
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 residents of Franklin County and to provide apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.
Throughout the 2017 and 2018 PEARLS celebrations 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 slightly less-
than-60’x100’ lot. This change will not increase density. 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 could serve as a test case. If successful, it could be the key to enabling more restoration on the Hill.
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.