Edgar Allan Poe & the Historic Poe Park

Did you know Edgar Allan Poe lived in the Bronx? 

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

The famous American poet rented this cottage near Kingsbridge Road and Valentine Avenue for $100 a year from 1846 to 1849.

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Poe, a Boston native, moved to New York City in 1844 at age 35, in search for better opportunities. But when his young wife Virginia fell ill two years later, they moved uptown to bucolic Fordham in hopes that the Bronx country air might cure Virginia's tuberculosis. 

Inside Poe Cottage. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

It was here, at the cottage, Poe penned some of his most famous poems, including "The Bells", "Eureka",  and "Annabel Lee". He wrote "The Raven" at his previous home on West 84th Street in Manhattan.

The Bronx River in Bronx River Park. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

While living in NYC, Poe drew inspiration from the beautiful Bronx River

Highbridge Park and bridge in the fall. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

and frequented Highbridge Park, now home to the oldest standing bridge in New York City, which was completed in 1848.

Virginia passed away in this bed, on view at the cottage. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

Sadly, in 1847, a few months after moving to the Bronx, Poe's wife passed away. But the poet continued to live at the cottage until his death in 1849. He died in Baltimore, Maryland on October 7.

A view of Poe Park from the cottage porch. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

In 1902, a park opened across the street from the cottage and was named for the famed poet. In its earliest years, the park became a popular spot for outdoor music concerts and cultural happenings.

A singing contest at Poe Park in 1938. (NYC Parks Photo Archive)

The bandstand at Poe Park (erected in 1925) featured regular classical music concerts that drew large crowds. Beginning in the 1940s, contemporary big bands performed in the park, and singer Rosemary Clooney (aunt of actor George Clooney) is reported to have made her public debut at the Poe Park bandstand.

An archival photo of Batman and the Riddler in a 1966 performance at Shea Stadium. (NYC Parks Photo Archive)

In the late 1930s, comic artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger met right here in Poe Park to brainstorm new comic strips and early Batman stories.

A bust of the poet by Edmond Thomas Quinn, on view at Poe Cottage. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

On Poe's 100th birthday (January 19, 1909) the Bronx Society of Arts and Sciences presented this bronze portrait bust of Edgar Allan Poe by Edmond Thomas Quinn. The sculpture was vandalized soon after its installation in the park, and subsequently moved inside the cottage.

The cottage is open to visitors on weekends. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

Built by John Wheeler in 1812, the cottage is the only  house left from the old village of Fordham. The redevelopment of Fordham, including the widening of Kingsbridge Road, threatened the cottage. In 1913, it was moved a few blocks north into the park. The cottage opened to the public on November 15, 1913. In 1980, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Today, Poe Cottage is owned by NYC Parks, operated by The Bronx County Historical Society, and is a member of the Historic House Trust. Visitors to Poe's cottage can see a glimpse of his life here in the Bronx on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Poe Park Visitor Center. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

The Poe Park Visitor Center carries on the legacy of the poet and park as host to many cultural and educational events for the Bronx community. The design is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". The sloped roof represents the raven's wings extended. The Poe Park Visitor Center is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe's Birthday

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809. Celebrate his life and work with the Bronx Historical Society on Saturday, January 20 at the Poe Park Visitor Center. More info

Poe Cottage on Periscope

Check out our tour of Poe Cottage in the Bronx. View the tour

Visiting Poe Park

Please visit our Poe Park page to find more information about Poe Park and Poe Cottage, and to get directions to the park.

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