Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site


"For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it . . . Yet, mad am I not -- and very surely do I not dream. But tomorrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul." Thus the narrator begins to confess to murdering his wife in The Black Cat, just one of many fascinating creations from short story master and poet, Edgar Allan Poe. Exploring themes as diverse as spirituality, astronomy, science and depravity, Poe's writing is as powerful and arresting today as when he was first published. Poe's six years in Philadelphia, 1838-1844, were his most productive. Not only did Poe edit and provide critical reviews for very successful magazines, but he also invented the modern detective story. While in Philadelphia, Poe penned such classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher and poems like The Haunted Palace and To Helen. While living in Philadelphia, Poe went from the high of being a popular lecturer to the despair of learning that his wife Virginia was ill with tuberculosis. The brief and tragic life of the author, his times, and literary legacy are interpreted in the building that once sheltered Poe and his family.



Seasonality / Weather

Four distinct seasons with moderately cold winter and hot, humid summer. January average temperature, 33 degrees Fahrenheit; July average temperature, 75 degrees; average yearly rainfall, 41 inches; normal seasonal snowfall, 21 inches.



Eastbound, via I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) - Exit onto I-676 East (toward "Central Philadelphia) and follow it to the 8th Street exit. At the bottom of the exit ramp proceed straight at the traffic light. Make a left at the second traffic light (this becomes 7th street) and proceed two blocks to Spring Garden Street. Westbound by car - After crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge, stay in the right hand lane and exit at the traffic light (this becomes 7th Street). Follow 7th Street to Spring Garden Street. From the Walt Whitman Bridge, take I-95 North exit (and follow Northbound instructions below.) Northbound by car: via I-95 - Exit at "Independence Hall/Historic Area". At bottom of ramp turn left at traffic light onto Delaware Avenue.


Philadelphia International Airport, eight miles from Center City, is served by all major domestic carriers as well as a gateway for flights from Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The SEPTA Airport Line connects the airport with Center City.

Public Transport: 

From Independence Visitor Center, located at 6th & Market Streets, walk one block west to 7th Street. Take SEPTA bus Route 47 at corner of 7th & Market. Get off at 7th & Spring Garden Street. From SEPTA Market-Frankford Elevated Train, take Blue Line elevated train to eastbound from 2nd, 5th, or 8th Street stations. Get off at Spring Garden Station. Walk five blocks to Seventh Street.