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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Breck Chapman, 02/2004
Edgar Allan Poe House
Inventory No.: B-50
Date Listed: 2/20/1972
Location: 203 N. Amity Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: early 19th century
NHL Date: 11/11/1971
Description: The Edgar Allan Poe House is a two-bay, 2 1/2-story brick structure with a tin gable roof. The doorway is in the left bay of the front, or west, elevation. The simple wooden stoop once had box seats, which were removed during the 1930s. The north bay of the west facade holds a door with a four-light transom. To the right is a 9/9 sash window, and above are two 6/6 sash windows, all with louvered shutters. All openings have splayed jack arches. There is one gable-roofed dormer with a 6/3 sash window on the west slope of the roof, and a flush chimney at the south gable end. The northern side of the building's main section is contiguous with modern housing. The south elevation has no windows. A two-story rear wing projects from the southern portion of the rear of the building, and has an interior chimney near its southeast corner. The roof of this wing slants toward the north. The house was originally the southern half of a double house, the northern half of which was removed by the City of Baltimore. The floors, woodwork, and window sashes are believed to be largely original. Significance: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) occupied this house from 1833 to 1835. During this period his short stories began to attract some attention and he may have completed some works in a collection of his writings edited by Arthur Hobson Quinn. Although Poe had published several short stories and poems by 1833, he did not achieve real fame until October when he won a prize for "A MS. Found in a Bottle." In 1844 Poe went to New York where the great success of his poem, "The Raven," earned him fame. However, debt, drink, and health problems led to his decline and death in 1849. The house was built in the early 19th century, and functioned as a private residence until 1939, when it was acquired by the City of Baltimore.
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