Visitor center added to Poe’s cottage

An artist’s rendering of the new Visitor’s Center at Poe Cottage, is shaped to evoke a bird, suggesting Edgar Allen Poe’s ”The Raven.”

The new Yankee Stadium is not the only project about to increase tourism in the Bronx.

An increase of 6,000 tourists a year is projected for the borough with guests also expected to enjoy a new visitor center and renovation of the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage on the Grand Concourse. 

“I wholeheartedly support the renovation and restoration of Poe Cottage,” said Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr.  “Along with a state of the art visitor’s center designed by world-renowned architect Toshiko Mori, [Poe Cottage] will enhance this attraction for its community and help attract visitors to the Bronx.”

Construction is already under way on the visitor center, with the $4.2 million project to be completed in approximately a year. 

Designed by architect Toshiko Mori, the Visitor Center will be a community education facility that supports the historic Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in Poe Park and the Bronx Historical Society as well as general park activities.

The form of the building, specifically its roofline, which forms a V shape like a birds wingspan, references the writer’s most famous work, “The Raven”.

Work on the historic five-room home where the famed poet wrote some of his greatest works is expected to start in the spring of 2009 and last a year.

The cottage will be closed to the public during the work with the restoration costing approximately about $250,000 and featuring new green shutters, a fresh coat of white paint, and a ramp for the handicapped, adding to historic legacy of the home.   

Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, at the cottage.

A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once featured unobstructed vistas over the rolling hills of the surrounding areas to the shores of Long Island.

Many of the poet’s most known works, such as “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells” and “Eureka,” were written at the house. 

In April 1844, Poe and his wife, Virginia, and mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, moved to New York, where Poe sought the opportunity for international acclaim.

He died in 1849 on a trip to Baltimore, two years after his wife’s passing. 

Poe Cottage, which has been managed by the Bronx Historical Society since 1975, was moved to its current site, at 2640 Grand Concourse, in 1913, just across the street from its original spot. 

It has been drawing thousands of interested guests each year and is expected to draw even more once the restoration is complete. 

Said Poe Cottage curator Kathy McAuley: “The upcoming renovation will be a wonderful attraction for both visitors to the Cottage from all over the world and for the community at large, who continue to enjoy Poe Park on a daily basis.”

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