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Happy Hill Neighborhood Shotgun House with sunset

illuminate the African American storry

The Shotgun House Legacy Site will illuminate the Black/African American story from a local perspective and illustrate how the Happy Hill neighborhood and the greater Winston-Salem community fits within the national narrative. 

Through the restoration of the early twentieth-century shotgun house, the site will serve as a vivid depiction of the lived experiences of individuals, particularly during pivotal periods such as Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and other landmark events that have profoundly shaped the African American experiences locally and nationally.

The adaptive reuse of the shotgun houses as a public monument to the legacy of those men and women who worked to make a life for their families, pre and post emancipation —Revitalized through artifacts, photographs

videos, and interactive programming. The grounds would serve as an outside exhibit space with interpretive panels and kiosks to expand the story and the footprint of the site.


shotgun house

Happy Hill Neighborhood Shotgun House Profile View
Original Historical Photo of a Shotgun House

Symbol Of Black American Freedom

Built in the early 20th century, these shotgun houses are nestled in the city’s oldest Black neighborhood, Happy Hill, dating back to 1872. These houses echo the Black experience throughout the South. Their architectural style is an iconic symbol of Black American freedom.Relatively inexpensive to construct, the shotgun house is

rectangular, one room wide, and up to three rooms deep with a front porch. This architectural style originated from Yorubaland (West Africa) via Haiti to the American South. The word shotgun itself is derived from the Yoruba word “to-gun.”  In Yoruba this word means place of assembly, or where people gather.

Happy Hill Neighborhood Shotgun House Profile View

phase one

  • Scholars Examining the City's African American Historical Context

  • Master-planning Process

  • Research & Development

  • Capital Fundraising

  • Monthly Community Beautification



phase two

  • Restoration of the Shotgun House Begins

  • Tours Begin of the Shotgun House

  • Research & Development

  • Monthly Community Beautification


Shotgun House Legacy Site Rendering

phase three

  • Build out of the full Shotgun House Legacy Site Master Plan begins

  • Construction & completion of the Legacy Site


Help us mobilize our City around this important initiative

become A legacy site Ambassador

  • Serve as a spokesperson for the Project

  • Be a “Face” for the project

  • Advocate for the Capital Campaign

  • Host a Fundraiser

  • Attend Presentation Events

Ambassador Role

  • Tour Guide/ Docent

  • Event Support

  • Researcher and Grant Writer

  • Garden/Grounds Maintenance

  • Education and Outreach

Volunteer Roles

join with Triad Cultural Arrts to save our historry

Happy Hill Neighborhood Shotgun House overhead View

Help us lift the historic story of Happy Hill, Winston-Salem’s first planned African American community, out of obscurity and herald the architecturally significant shotgun house as an iconic symbol of African American freedom! Let’s repurpose their use for education and the perpetuation of African American history and culture for generations to come!

meet our sponsors

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