Edgar Allan Poe, being one of my favorite all-time literary figures and man of all-around mystery, a visit to the National Historic Site in his name has been on my list for a while. I took advantage of the Halloween weekend with the hope that my visit might be that much more dark and eerie. The glorious blue skies and wonderful, sunny weather did much to quell any foreboding or spooky atmospheric effects that I was hoping to capitalize on, unfortunately.
The house is located on the corner of Spring Garden and North 7th Street (the exact address is 532 North 7th Street), and is the only standing building in which Edgar Allan Poe and his family lived in during his short time in Philadelphia, about six years. As the 7 minute introductory video will inform you, if you decide you visit, no evidence of Poe’s stay in the building remains; but there is something powerful about walking through rooms (with most original and intact finishes, some of which are quite beautiful, check out the picture below) that he wrote such stories and poems as The Masque of Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, the Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, among 13 total, many of which were written in this particular house.
I’ll leave all of the details for the Site itself. I would certainly make a trip to visit this place and learn about one of America’s most influential writer and poet. There’s street parking and admission is free.
For more information check out the National Park Service’s website.
As for the management and current configuration of the Historic Site exhibit, there will hopefully be a part II to this post with some criticism of the current state of affairs regarding the way in which the NPS has attempted to convey information about the site and its history. If anyone else has been here, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the site itself, the way it is presented and maintained, etc.