Five Shotgun Row houses designated for artist-in-residence housing

Five houses in Covington are being rehabilitated for artists-in-residence. The houses, located on Orchard Street, are all one-story shotgun houses, with one bedroom and one bathroom, and the space for a studio.
“Historically, this is one of the worst areas in Covington, and neighbors wanted to do something about it,” says Sarah Allan with the Center for Great Neighborhoods. “Everyone thought the buildings should be torn down, but instead, we’re redoing them and creating value.”
Six identical houses were built in the late 1800s, and are considered historic by the state of Kentucky. The same people have owned the house on the end of the street for many years, but the other five houses had been made functionally and mechanically obsolete from years of decay. However, they couldn’t be torn down because of their historical designation.
CGN purchased the houses and thought they would make great studio/living spaces for Covington’s artists. The zoning on the houses allows artists to live and work in them, but they can’t operate retail stores.
As part of the Shotgun Row project, CGN is transforming a nearby dump into a parking lot. There isn’t a lot of on-street parking available, and there isn’t the space for off-street parking. CGN received a grant from the EPA to redevelop the dump into 12 parking spots. Each artist will receive a spot lease-free for the next five years, and the remaining spots are available for lease.
“Stemming from this project, we’ve had a lot of interest from older people who want to age in place in a urban setting,” Allan says. “They want a one-story house in an urban setting as opposed to one in the suburbs. There are shotgun houses scattered all around Covington, and in the future, we might remodel them for those that are interested in the product, but aren’t necessarily artists.”
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Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.