The American writer Edgar Allan Poe spent the last three years of his life in a tiny cottage in the Bronx. Now administered as a historic house museum by the Bronx Historical Society under the ownership of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the modest structure, built in 1812, is about to get a contemporary visitor’s center designed by Toshiko Mori. With a butterfly roof and slate shingle cladding, Mori’s design will help the 5,300-square-foot center look recessive next to the much smaller, stark white house. “I read a lot of Poe’s work and there seemed to be two distinct halves to his writing,” Mori told AN. “One half is a kind of forerunner of science fiction, very dreamy and about the future, and the other half is grotesque.” While the cottage represents the past, she said, the visitor’s center, which will also serve as a community gathering place, will reflect Poe’s relevance to the present and future.
Architect: Toshiko Mori Architect
Client: The Bronx Historical Society and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Location: Kingsbridge Road, The Bronx