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The Boston Globe

Arts

ALEX BEAM

Poe — we hardly knew ye

Though the ornery author famously hated Boston, a local professor leads a charge to bring him ‘home’

NEW YORK - I arrived on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx too early last Sunday to visit the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, which doesn’t open until the afternoon. But I came mainly to see the spanking new Poe Park Visitor Center, designed by architect Toshiko Mori, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. For that, I could have shown up more or less anytime, because the elegant, canted, slate-clad $4 million visitor center has never really opened, and quite possibly never will.

Everyone wants to love Poe, but no one wants to pay for him. New York City’s Parks Department has more pressing, nonliterary priorities. Baltimore, a city with an equally powerful claim on the neurotic, haunted writer - perhaps you have heard of their football team, the Ravens? - may finally make good on its threat to cut its paltry funding of the Poe House and Museum.

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