The Ravens—Letting Edgar Allan Poe's Legacy Die?

The city closed Poe House, and the Ravens did nothing

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 3, 2013 5:10 PM CST

(Newser) – The city of Baltimore and its high-flying football team rely heavily on Edgar Allen Poe's legacy—yet they're letting it fade away, writes A.N. Devers at Salon. City officials shut down the Edgar Allan Poe House last year, citing its $85,000 annual cost, even though it has successfully run for decades and drawn thousands of visitors a year. With little transparency, the city announced that a new entity will conduct all Poe tours and visit the house only by bus. But officials fail to understand that "people are coming to experience the house, however humble, however poor, however few artifacts [are] related to Poe’s life," writes Devers.

No doubt the house's iffy neighborhood—featured in The Wire's first episode with a dead body—plays a role in the city's decision. Yet officials may make it more dangerous for visitors who show up after hours without knowing that tours start offsite. Meanwhile, the Ravens, who use Poe for their very name, haven't offered one dime to support Poe House—because the city hasn't asked, they say. "In Baltimore’s case, if the Ravens win, they’ll be spiking the football on Poe’s grave," Devers writes. "Poe’s impact on Baltimore shouldn’t be reduced to a piece of football trivia. Nevermore." Click for Devers' full piece.

A man in a period costume stands in front of writer Edgar Allen Poe's grave in Baltimore, Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, after a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 162nd anniversary of Poe's death.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh autographs a mini helmet for a fan after NFL football training camp in Owings Mills, Md., on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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