The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, sometimes called simply Poe Cottage, is the former home of American writer Edgar Allan Poe located on Kingsbridge Road in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York and is now part of Poe Park.
The cottage is a part of the Historic House Trust, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been administered by the Bronx County Historical Society since 1975, and is believed to have been built in 1797.
The family seemed to enjoy the home, despite its small size and minimal furnishings. "The cottage is very humble", a visitor said, "you wouldn't have thought decent people could have lived in it; but there was an air of refinement about everything. A friend of Poe's years later wrote: "The cottage had an air of taste and gentility... So neat, so poor, so unfurnished, and yet so charming a dwelling I never saw. In a letter to a friend, Poe himself wrote: "The place is a beautiful one." Maria wrote years later: "It was the sweetest little cottage imaginable. Oh, how supremely happy we were in our dear cottage home! Poe's final short story, "Landor's Cottage", was likely inspired by the home.
In this home, Poe wrote his well-known poems "Annabel Lee" and "Ulalume" while the family cat sat on his shoulder. During his time here, he also published his series on "The Literati of New York City", controversial gossip-like discussions of literary figures and their work, including Nathaniel Parker Willis, Charles Frederick Briggs, Thomas Dunn English, Margaret Fuller, and Lewis Gaylord Clark. As their publisher Louis Antoine Godey announced in his Lady's Book, they would soon "raise some commotion in the literary emporium.
The Poe family befriended their neighbors, including the family of John Valentine, and Poe even served as a sponsor for baptism for one of the local boys who was named "Edgar Albert". Poe also became friendly with the faculty at what was then St. John's College, now Fordham University. He found the faculty to be "highly cultivated gentleman and scholars [who] smoked, drank, and played cards like gentleman, and never said a word about religion.
During the Poe family's time in the cottage, Virginia struggled with tuberculosis. Family friend Mary Gove Nicholls wrote: "One felt that she was almost a disrobed spirit, and when she coughed it was made certain that she was rapidly passing away. Virginia died in the cottage's first floor bedroom on January 30, 1847. She was buried in the vault of the Valentine family on February 2. Poe died a couple years later on October 7, 1849 while in Baltimore. At Fordham, Maria did not hear of his death until October 9, after he was already buried. Shortly thereafter, she moved out of the cottage to live with a family in Brooklyn for a time.
In 1962, Poe's Cottage was designated a landmark in The Bronx, and in 1966 it was recognized by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission In 1974, vandals struck again, leading to further criticism of the Cottage's management and preservation efforts. Vandalism continued to occur over the next few years, though it tapered off by the end of the following decade, becoming less of a risk due in part to the increased use of live-in caretakers.
In 2007 the Visitors Center for the Cottage and Bronx Historical Society in Poe Park was honored by the New York City Art Commission's 2007 Design Awards.