Home WORLD Man Turns Empty Lot Into a Pocket Neighborhood Of 4 Houses

Man Turns Empty Lot Into a Pocket Neighborhood Of 4 Houses


Just outside the historic downtown of Waco, Texas (Dr Pepper was founded here in 1885) you normally find small bungalows drowned by large lots, but Cameron Bell has squeezed four narrow houses onto his quarter acre, creating a pocket hood of unique homes (shotgun house and dogtrot house included).

source.image: Kirsten Dirksen

It all started when Cameron Bell was visiting his parents in his hometown of Waco, Texas when he saw a boarded-up shotgun house being prepped for demolition so he contacted the owner who offered it to him if he could find a place to move it. Bell found a sliver of a lot (just 48 feet wide) where the home was rebuilt with a lofted second bedroom accessible by retractable stairs on a counterweight system (he was helped by the show Fixer Upper).

A couple years later he bought the lot next door and using the city’s new Small Lot Ordinance which shrunk the minimum lot size, he began to build 3 new homes. All of the new homes are small with the dogtrot house the narrowest at about 12-feet-wide. The dogtrot design, like the shotgun, has rooms lined up in a row, but this one consists of two living areas divided by a covered porch.


Not wanting the homes to appear too uniform he staggered them on the lot and created unique builds for each one. As an homage to the city’s historic downtown, Bell created a two-story brick building that resembles the old storefronts with housing above a shop. To create a home more suited for families be designed a wider structure with a large living space and two tiny bedrooms divided by an atrium. The bedrooms are so narrow, when he saw them constructed he was worried they he wouldn’t fit a bed (it just fits).