Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:
Hours are limited, you'll want to be mindful about making sure your schedule lines up with their times.
An old empty house - hardly even any furniture in it, just peeling paint and exposed brick...why go? Because it is very likely that this home inspired Poe's macabre tale, "The Black Cat". Poe consider the time he lived in Philly his most productive years in his brilliant, yet short, literary career. The worn, bowed stairs remind you he walked through these same halls and conjured up ideas that would become the dark stories that made him a central figure in Romanticism and American literature as a whole.
This historic site is located about a mile away from the main attractions such as the Liberty Bell that boasts the grand story of the forming of the United States. However, we are reminded to pause and consider the intimate stories of the innovators and unusual individuals that constantly pushed to expand our collective views. Poe did that for us, causing us to question what is real and confront what we are afraid of.
The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is open Friday - Sunday, from 9am - 12pm and 1pm - 5pm. The site is closed from 12pm - 1pm. There is no fee to visit the site. You may wander through a self-guided tour or opt for a ranger-led tour. I encourage you to stop and sit for a while in the reading room, the only room there is a proper space to sit, then read or listen to Poe's fictional essay, The Philosophy of Furniture. Recordings are available.
I will leave you with a Poe quote, "The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?" Perhaps he will be in the reading room with you.