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Edgar Allan Poe house benefit in Washington

The house where Edgar Allan Poe lived in Baltimore is being squeezed for money, now that the city has threatened to withdraw financing. So, some rockers are planning a Washington, D.C., concert to benefit the Poe House, where the great author lived as a young man with his aunt for about two years, leaving in 1835 for Richmond.

The Baltimore Sun's Chris Kaltenbach reports that the Oct. 7 concert at Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. N.W., will feature the bands Lenorable, Nunchucks, Dance for the Dying and Lions & Tigers & Whales. The Poe House and Museum could close next year if other funding sources are not developed, and the city is studying ways to turn the house into a self-sustaining institution, Kaltenbach notes.

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Poe died on Baltimore's east side in 1849, and a fictionalized movie about his sad end will be released next year, as John Cusack stars as Poe in "The Raven." The Los Angeles Times wonders whether the film will spark interest in Poe -- and contributions for his former home. "The film is set during the last days of Poe's life, and is a fictionalized account that adds a serial killer into the mix of his mysterious (possibly alcohol-induced) end," the Times reports.

But if real estate sales is all about "location, location, location," the same can be said for tourist attractions. And the Poe House has always faced a major stumbling block: Its location, 203 N. Amity St. in West Baltimore, is far from the Inner Harbor's tourist areas. That makes it very tough to attract paying customers. It's the same problem that led to the H.L. Mencken's house closing years ago -- and one that is tough to solve. If only he had lived in Fells Point, closer to the spot where he died.

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