The House Through the Years

May 15, 1834

Sarah Pennock sells the lot encompassing No. 530 and No. 532 to Caspar W. and Abraham W. Sharpless. Between 1836 and 1840 the lot is broken into five properties.

March 13, 1836

Abraham W. Sharpless sells three of the lots to Caspar W. Sharpless for $18,000.

September 9, 1840

Caspar and Abraham Sharpless sell No. 530 and No. 532 to William Alburger for $1. Alburger pays a yearly rent to the Sharplesses of $102 for No. 530 and a yearly rent of $114 for No. 532. Alburger sells No. 532 to John Evans Jr. on the same day for the same amount. Alburger constructs a “three-story brick [house with adjacent land]” on the property of No. 530 sometime between September 1840 and October 1841.

October 4, 1841

John Evans Jr. sells No. 532 to Thomas F. Vallette for $7,000.

October 25, 1841

William Alburger petitions with his neighbors for the paving of Wistar Street, therefore increasing the property value of No. 530.

August 4, 1842

A three-story brick building is constructed on the land of No. 530 sometime between September 1840 and August 1842. No, 530 is transferred from William M. Alburger to Jesse White for $1,200. White continues to pay $102 in yearly rent to Caspar and Abraham Sharpless.

January 7, 1843

Jesse White sells No. 530 to William Alburger for $1,200. $102 in yearly rent is still paid to Caspar and Abraham Sharpless.

Spring 1843

Edgar Allan Poe moves into the three-story brick property of No. 530 with his family at some point during this time period. His landlord was likely William Alburger. At that time, the house was connected to the rear of No. 532 which was much larger than No. 530. No. 530 was described at the time as looking like “only part of a house.” No. 530 would later become a backbuilding to No. 532.

April 6, 1844

Poe and his family leave for New York.

November 1845

The rear of No. 530 is connected to No. 532.

January 11, 1845

William Alburger sells No. 530 to James and Henry Jones $1000.

July 4, 1848

Thomas Valette sells No. 532 to Henry Menke for $4,650.

July 18, 1848

Henry Menke sells No. 532 to Charles Shoemaker for $4,570.

May 22, 1849

Henry Jones divides his property with James Jones and sells his half-share of No. 530 to James Jones for $2,899. The main block of the house is built sometime between January 1845 and May 1849 causing an increase in the property’s value.

April 26, 1852

Benjamin Davis sells No. 530 to James Jones for $1,400. Jones uses the property to extend his rear lot and constructs a stable on the property.

May 20, 1852

James Jones sells No. 530 to Charles Shoemaker for $600.

August 20, 1872

Rachel Shoemaker, Charles Shoemaker’s widow, sells No. 532 to George W. Brown for an unknown amount.

October 21, 1885

George W. Brown sells No. 532 to Elizabeth Balduston for $9,000.

December 8, 1887

Elizabeth Balduston sells No. 532 to George W. Blabon for $8,250

April 1, 1889*

George W. Blabon sells No. 532 to Henry Dilg for $7,500.

November 10, 1904*

The heirs of George W. Blabon sell No. 532 to David Lampert for $3,800.

*The property records for April 1, 1889 and November 10, 1904 are seemingly contradictory. The NPS is currently conducting further research into this discrepancy.

November 11, 1904

David Lampert sells No. 532 to Samuel Messinger for $800 with mortgages of $3,000 and $600.

January 19, 1912

Samuel Messinger sells No. 532 to Benjamin Messinger for $1.00.

August 27, 1913

The heirs of James Jones sell No. 530 to Marcus Hillman for $4,000. Hillman then sells the property the same day to Judas Spivack for $1.00.

January 29, 1917

Judas Spivack sells No, 530 to Ida and Morris Greenberg for $1.00 with two mortgages of $2,800 and $1,400.

May 31, 1917

Benjamin Messinger sells No. 532 to Minnie Messinger for $1.00.

March 28, 1923

The Greenbergs sell No. 530 to Egan Adams for $1.00.

January 21, 1924

Joseph Messinger, Minnie Messinger’s widower, sells No. 532 to Samuel Messinger for $1.00 with mortgages of $3,000 and $1,000.

July 19, 1929

Egan and Eva Adams sell No. 530 to George E. Stephan for $1.00. Stephan then sells No. 530 to Real Estate Land Title and Trust Company for $1.00 the same day.

November 20, 1929

The heirs of Samuel Messinger sell No. 532 to William Schirmer for $5,000.

November 25, 1929

William Schirmer sells No. 532 to Joseph P. Sahutsky for $1.00 with a mortgage of $4,000.

December 30, 1932

Real Estate Land Title and Trust Company sells No. 530 to Building Operation Holding Company for $1.00.

April 5, 1933

Building Operation Holding Company sells No. 530 to Arthur Taylor for $1.00.

December 1, 1933

Arthur Taylor sells No. 530, now known as the Poe House, to The Richard Gimbel Foundation for Literary Research.

December 9, 1935

Richard Weiglein, the sheriff, takes possession of No. 532 and sells it to Kazimirez Wielki Building and Loan Association for $50.00. Kazimirez Wielki Building and Loan Association sells No. 532 to Israel Goldberg for $2,250. Israel Goldberg sells No. 532 to Richard Gimbel Foundation for Literary Research for $1.00.

March 1, 1937

William J. Hamilton sells No. 530 to The Richard Gimbel Foundation.

January 20, 1960

The Gimbel Foundation buys the lots to either side of the Poe House complex.

1963

Interior of the Poe House is refurbished.

January 4, 1963

The National Park Service declares the Poe House as a National Landmark.

May 27, 1970

Richard Gimbel dies.

May 1971

The Philadelphia City Council passes an ordinance accepting the Poe House from the Richard Gimbel Foundation, to be administered by the Free Library of Philadelphia.

January 1978

John Lloyd Associates begins renovations of the Poe House.

November 1978

Congress establishes the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.

March 25, 1979

The United States Department of the Interior recommends at least remedial work for the Poe House to modify the work done by John Lloyd and Associates.

March 1980

The National Park Service acquires the Poe property as the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.

June 1980

Superintendent Hobart Cawood of Independence National Historical Park dedicates the site.

2009

For Edgar Allan Poe’s bicentennial, the site opens with extensive new exhibits on the author’s life and legacy. As an alternative to restoration, pictures on large canvases that give a generalized idea of how the rooms may have appeared are placed throughout the historic structure.

Last updated: March 15, 2018

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