Even as Edgar Allan Poe's continuing presence in Baltimore remains uncertain, another East Coast city —the one in which the celebrated author was born — is preparing to honor him with a bronze statue.
Poe partisans in Boston have chosen New York sculptor Stefanie Rocknak for the $125,000 project. Her design shows an adult Poe, who left Boston as a young child, as though he had just stepped off a train. To be placed in the city's Edgar Allan Poe Square, at the intersection of Boylston Street and Charles Street South, the statue will be situated so that Poe is heading back to his birthplace.
"Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most influential writers ever born in the city of Boston," Mayor Thomas Menino said in a press release. "The statue chosen for Poe Square is full of life and motion, and is sure to inspire residents and future writers for generations to come."
The Edgar Allan Poe foundation of Boston hopes to have a finished statue in place by the end of next year. The home where Poe was born no longer stands, but a plaque marks its former location.
Poe was born in Boston in 1809. He left the city at a young age, after his father deserted the family and his mother died in 1811, to move to Richmond. His first book, "Tamerlane and Other Poems," was published in Boston in 1827.
Poe lived for a few years during the 1830s in Baltimore, in an Amity Street House preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. He died here, under circumstances never fully explained, in 1849 and is buried in the old Westminster Burial Grounds, off Fayette Street.
The Baltimore Poe House's future is uncertain. The city, which owns the house, cut off funding in 2010. It remains open, operating from donations and other funds.
A consultant hired to study ways to keep the home open and self-sufficient has suggested operating it in tandem with the nearby B&O Railroad Museum.