Fans Hold Fundraisers Nationwide To Save Poe’s West Baltimore Home

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Protecting a landmark. On the 162nd anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, there is a nationwide effort to save his West Baltimore home.

Andrea Fujii explains why it’s so important to fans across the globe.

Nearly 5,000 people visit Edgar Allan Poe’s home every year. But it’s time is running out.

On the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, his fans are hoping to prevent another tragedy– the closing of his Baltimore home on Amity Street.

“He lived there for three years and wrote some very important stories there,” actor Mark Sanders said.

It’s been open to the public as a museum since 1949, but last year, the city was forced to cut its funding.
Right now, it is surviving on donations and can stay open until June 2012. But after that, the future is uncertain.

So a play, “Portrait of Poe,” is one of several events nationwide raising money to keep the house open.

“He appeals to so many people,” Sanders said. “The lovers of poetry, lovers of literature, lovers of horror.”

Money raised will go to Pennies for Poe.

“He lived there, he wrote there and it is a destination for many tourists who come to Baltimore,” Rafael Alvarez from Pennies for Poe said.

The world-famous writer known for his dark prose was shrouded in mystery, even in death.

Up until 2009, for nearly 50 years, a caped visitor only known as the “Poe Toaster” marked Poe’s birthday by leaving roses and cognac on his grave.

“He’s become synonymous with Halloween. Scary, spooky,” Alvarez said.

And supporters say it’s a mystery worth saving for generations to come.

“It would mean that students all across Baltimore lose a direct and local connection to their history,” school teacher Brian Zimmerman said.

There are also Poe House fundraisers going on Friday night in Washington D.C., Virginia and New York.

For a list of Poe House fundraisers, click here.

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