Attraction

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

The house where Poe wrote and published some of his greatest tales

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Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
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Overview

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), one of America’s most original writers, lived in this red brick home with his wife, Virginia, and his mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, for about a year.

During that time, he penned The Black Cat, which describes a basement eerily similar to the one here.

Visitors can tour the stark rooms and cellar of the three-story home where Poe’s imagination ran seductively wild.

Rangers recount how Poe dealt with family poverty, Virginia’s grave illness and his own personal demons.

The building houses exhibits on Poe’s family and his literary contemporaries, and a theater shows an informative eight-minute film.

The History

Administered by the National Park Service, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site was Poe’s residence in 1843 before he moved to New York City.

Of his several Philadelphia homes, only this one survives. It serves as a tangible link to Poe at the height of his literary achievements.

Although best known for his Gothic horror tales, Poe also created beautiful poetry, was a pioneer science fiction writer, and is credited with inventing the modern detective story with Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Don’t Miss

Although the house lacks furniture, possibly due to Poe selling it to finance his move to New York, the film, lecture and tour make the trip very worthwhile.

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