Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site | PARK AT A GLANCE

Exhibit inside the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site Visitor Center

Exhibit inside the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site Visitor Center


Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site preserves the house at 234 North 7th Street, the only surviving home that American writer Edgar Allan Poe lived in during his stay in Philadelphia from 1838 to 1844. The exact dates of his residence at the house are unknown, but he moved in some time between the fall of 1842 and June 1843, and left in April 1844. With him were is wife, Virginia Clemm, and her mother, Maria Clemm, who was Poe’s aunt. It is thought that he wrote The Gold Bug and The Black Cat while living in this house. Both of these were published during this time.

The building layout today is different from what existed during Poe’s time. In the early 1840s there was only a single house. Two additional houses were built onto the original building in 1848. The National Park Service now owns all three and uses the two newer houses as the park’s Visitor Center. It is the Visitor Center that you see from 7th Street. The Poe House is around back situated alongside a courtyard.

Inside the Visitor Center is a museum dedicated to Poe and a reading room stocked with not only his famous fictional stories and poems, but collections of his critical essays. During his life he was as well known as a magazine editor and literary critic as he was a writer. In fact, he made most of his money as an editor and critic. His stories paid very little and only became staples of literature after his death.

Visitors to the park are welcome to walk through the Poe House on their own or join a guided tour that is given upon request. The house is not furnished because not only is there no existing original furniture, but also because the National Park Service has absolutely no idea what sort of furniture Poe would have owned. Therefore, be sure to request a tour and get the full story of Poe and his time at the house, otherwise you might as well walk around in a random empty building and just pretend that you are in Poe’s house.

Note: Edgar Poe is Poe’s birth name. He became an orphan after his mother died of tuberculosis and his father disappeared from the scene. Allan is the name of his foster parents.


Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 5 PM. The house and Visitor Center are closed from noon to 1 PM for an employee lunch break. Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the park.


There is no fee to enter Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. Tours of the house are also given free of charge.


Visitor Center and Museum
allow 30-60 minutes

House Tour (guided)
allow 1 hour

Note: Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site Visitor Center is accessible to those with mobility problems. However, the Poe House is an old house with stairs, so it is inaccessible to those in wheelchairs and those who cannot climb stairs.

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Last updated on May 12, 2020
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