`Whenever I make presentations about Project Row Houses, I always start with a slide of John Biggers," said Rick Lowe.
Biggers is an artist whose strong portrayals of African-American life combine images of his childhood, his travels in Africa and his feeling about growing up black in America.
The style is widely believed to have its roots in Africa and likely made its way to the U.S. via Haiti, according to one historic study of the architecture style. Shotgun houses were easy, and usually cheap, to build. Entire neighborhoods of shotgun houses sprang up throughout the South after the Civil War as freed slaves sought places to live.