Thursday, February 10, 2011
Save the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore
The city of Baltimore has cut funding to the Poe House and Museum and expects to close it to the public in June 2012. They feel that the Poe House should be self-sustaining. However city parks are not closed because they don't bring in revenue to cover their maintenance. State wildlife preserves are maintained despite their inability to fund themselves. Like these two examples, places like the Poe House and Museum should be kept alive by the cities that contain them whether they are profitable, or not. This is part of our cultural heritage, and should be maintained and kept alive simply for the sake of preserving a part of our important history. Imagine how up in arms people would be if important Civil War battle sites were paved over and turned into housing developments simply because they didn't generate income, or if Philadelphia sold off the Liberty Bell because there weren't enough tourists visiting it to cover the cost of displaying it.
Edgar Allan Poe is not only an important figure to genre writing, both horror and detective fiction, but is as quintessential an American writer as Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or Herman Melville. Letting this important site diminish would be a crime.
Actor and Poe enthusiast, Mark Redfield has started a petition to keep the Poe House and Museum alive. Please sign it and let the city of Baltimore know that this historic site belongs to all Americans, and that they should always have access to it.