Edgar Allan Poe Museum may close next year

Baltimore’s most famous literary landmark may close next year due to budget cuts.

The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum hasn’t received money from the city for two years. Since that time it’s managed to limp along on private contributions, but they aren’t enough to keep it afloat. Now the curator says if something isn’t done, the museum will probably close in June 2012.

Although the museum gets around 5,000 visitors a year, the money they spend doesn’t cover its $85,000 annual operating budget.

Poe lived in the house from 1832 to 1835 and wrote several stories there, including Ms. Found in a Bottle and Berenice–A Tale.

The Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore gives a more detailed description of the problem and has started an online petition that already has more than 6,000 signatories, including mine. I’d be proud to have your name next to mine on the list.

The Poe house has been in danger before. Back in 1941 the Society saved the house from demolition, and now some local businesses and artists are raising money to keep the museum going. Perhaps readers will rally once again to save a piece of horror history.

[Photo courtesy Midnightdreary]

SoundAboutPhilly’s Awesome Audible Tours/Google Maps Mash-up

Recently, we told you about the [murmur] project, an audio archive of the stories of Toronto. It turns out that SoundAboutPhilly is undertaking a similar project for the City of Brotherly Love. SoundAboutPhilly’s free, customizable sound-seeing tours are told by “real” Philadelphians, and provide an insider’s look at the city. Moreover, since it’s mashed with Google Maps, the site lets you plan an interesting, detailed trip from wherever you are.

Featuring dozens of audio clips, SoundAboutPhilly lets people browse by subject (History, Unplugged Philadelphia, Flavorhoods, My Philly, Philly Noir, Once Upon A Nation, Vintage Philadelphia) and even lets users create and upload their own tours. For example, I just finished listening to Aaron’s Haunted/Eerie Philly tour. (The Mütter Museum sounds creepy!)

SoundAboutPhilly allows you to save your favorite tours (and their associated waypoints), so you can create your own personal audio tour/map of the city. Perfect for that upcoming trip, just download all the portions of your custom Philly trip, print your map, and listen to the tours as you explore. If you go by yourself, just don’t get scared when you reach the Edgar Allan Poe house.