Boston may be slipping ahead in the Edgar Allan Poe arms race -- the city is preparing for a new bronze statue to honor the great author, even as Baltimore struggles to preserve his former home.
The Baltimore Sun's Chris Kaltenbach reports that sculptor Stefanie Rocknak was selected for the $125,000 project in Boston, to be located at the intersection of Boylston Street and Charles Street South. Her design shows an adult Poe as though he had just stepped off a train. I think the design is really cool -- especially because it gives a plug to the Baltimore Ravens, right in the backyard of the New England Patriots.
“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,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said in a news release.
Poe was born in Boston in 1809, but left the city at a young age, after his father deserted the family and his mother died in 1811, Kaltenbach notes. Other cities, including Richmond, Philadelphia and New York, have museums dedicated to the author. Of course, Baltimore has as big a claim as anyone -- he lived on the westside as a young man, and died here.
But Poe's legacy here is in danger. The city owns and operates the Poe House, but it has eliminated its annual funding, and the museum has been maintained fro the past couple of years by private donations. A consultant has proposed operating the mueums as an adjunct to the B&O Railroad Museum, but that plan has not been finalized.