Preserved photo of Edgar Allen Poe on display in the Edgar Allen Poe House in Philadelphia Photo by Amy Dennis
If you were to meet Edgar Allen Poe on the streets of Philadelphia, what would you say to him? He probably would try to outsmart you, with an arrogant comment or witty comeback as he was known for. Unfortunately, since his mysterious death in October of 1849, no one has been able to speak a word to Edgar Allen Poe. But there is still hope for Poe fans around the globe. . .
Sign designating The Edgar Allen Poe House as a National Historic Landmark / Photo by Amy Dennis
Nestled peacefully on the corner of Spring Garden and 7th Streets in Center City, Philadelphia, The Edgar Allen Poe House sits. Here, you can walk the original wood floors where he walked, explore the rooms where he wrote and ponder the grief he felt as his beloved wife, Virginia, struggled to fight tuberculosis.
Sign marking the entrance to the Edgar Allen Poe House where Poe lived briefly during the 1840’s with his wife and mother-in-law / Photo by Amy Dennis
A registered National Historic Landmark, the Edgar Allen Poe house pays homage to the six years Poe spent living and working as an author in Philadelphia. Although Poe lived in several different houses throughout those six years, this is the only one that remains standing today. During his time in Philadelphia, Poe socialized with a circle of writer friends whom he and Virginia often entertained in their Philadelphia home. Among these friends were famous writers Thomas Mayne Reid and Charles Dickens. In fact, it is said that Dickens’ pet Raven actually inspired the famous poem by Poe.
Though his original home is Richmond, Virginia, Poe himself has said that he spent some of the happiest and most successful years of his life in Philadelphia. During his time in Philadelphia, Poe worked as a literary critic and editor for Graham Magazine, where he increased the magazine’s circulation significantly. He also published some of his most famous works like “The Black Cat,” “The Gold Bug” and “The Telltale Heart” (among others) during his time here. In all, the author published 31 stories while living and working in Philadelphia.
Today, people journey from all over the world to visit the Edgar Allen Poe house.
“We get visitors from all over the world because Poe fans are all over the world,” said Eric Knight, 61, a Park Ranger with Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park.
Though you won’t get a chance to meet Poe himself, Philadelphia’s Park Rangers are knowledgable of the house and ready to guide you through. Each visit also includes an introductory film and optional self-guided tour.
How much: Free! Since the Edgar Allen Poe house in Philadelphia is a Registered National Historic Landmark, there is no charge to visit.
When: The Edgar Allen Poe House is open Friday – Sunday ONLY from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fun Fact: The Edgar Allen Poe house in Philadelphia experiences an average of about 150 visitors per day.
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Have you visited the Edgar Allen Poe house? If so, comment below and share your favorite part of your visit or a favorite literary work by Poe.