The humble wooden cottage where 19th century US writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe spent his last years and penned some of his most famous work reopened in the Bronx borough of New York recently after more than a year of renovations.
Poe -- best known as a master of mystery and the macabre, but also considered the inventor of detective dramas -- lived in this frame cottage in what was then Fordham village, in the outskirts of New York City, between 1846 and 1849.
Poe (1809-1849) is the author of works of literature including the poem "The Raven," the detective mystery "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and the horror short-story "The Pit and the Pendulum."
The home, known as the "Edgar Allan Poe Cottage," was closed for more than a year as extensive repairs were carried out using traditional techniques, said Neil Ralley, one of the site tour guides.
There are plenty of house museums in New York that were owned by wealthy people, but few owned by humbler folk, Ralley told AFP.
"This house museum is unique," said Ralley. "Poe was poor. So what you have here is a museum of somebody who was probably working class."
The Bronx Historical Society has managed the humble two-story clapboard building of small rooms, tiny windows and low ceilings since 1975.
The home includes period furniture, though only two were owned by Poe: a rocking chair and a bed on which the writer's young wife died, Ralley said.
Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He lived at times in other cities including Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Poe moved to the New York home in 1844 with his wife and cousin Virginia Clemm -- whom he had married in 1835 when she was just 13 -- and his mother-in-law Maria.
Virginia however came down with tuberculosis, and two years later Poe moved to Fordham in search of better weather. Virginia however failed to recover, and died in the cottage in January 1847.
In the nearly three years that Poe spent in the house, the writer penned some of his most famous work, including the poems "Annabel Lee" -- honoring his beloved wife -- "The Bells," and the short story "The Cask of Amontillado," in which the author gets his revenge when he chains and entombs a rival in a niche.
Poe died in October 1849 in the port city of Baltimore after he was found drunk and delirious wearing another man's clothes. His mysterious demise has given rise to an array of theories, none confirmed to this day.
The site also includes the Poe Park Visitors Center, a modern structure designed by Japanese-American architect Toshiko Mori. The Visitors Center however is currently closed.