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July 05, 2024

Edgar Allan Poe house to close for the summer for fire safety upgrades

The project at the NPS site on N. 7th Street is expected to be completed by the fall.

History National Park Service
Edgar Allan Poe house Provided image/NPS

Edgar Allan Poe lived in one of the National Park Service site's two adjoining townhouses with his wife and mother-in-law from 1843 to 1844.

The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site will temporarily close its doors to the public starting Monday.

The National Park Service property is shuttering for renovations. Over the course of several months, a construction crew will upgrade the landmark's existing fire detection system and install a new fire suppression system. The entire project will cost $931,230, and is expected to wrap up in the fall.

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Located at 532 N. 7th Street, the NPS site consists of two adjacent townhouses, though Poe lived in only one of them. He moved into the home with his wife, Virginia, and Maria Clemm, his aunt and mother-in-law, in the spring of 1843. It was the last of five homes the Poes inhabited during their six years in Philadelphia. The family left the house on N. 7th Street and the city behind for New York in 1844.

While he was in Philadelphia, Poe wrote some of his most famous stories, including "The Mask of the Red Death," "Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." He also worked as an editor and critic for the bygone Philly publication Graham's Magazine.

The NPS site is the only Philadelphia home the Poes inhabited that still stands today. The property changed hands several times before it was declared a national landmark in 1963.

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