WSJ: A Visitor Center Where Poe Heard a Knocking

Splashy new architecture attracts a blaze of attention, but it’s the carefully conceived small projects that have the real impact on everyday lives.

Such is the case with the Poe Park Visitor Center, an incongruously elegant, modern little structure stranded on a bit of parkland in the hurly-burly of the Bronx between the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. The 2.3-acre park is just big enough for a small playground, a 1925 bandstand and a haphazard little farmhouse that was Edgar Allen Poe’s last New York home.

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poeparkNYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

The Bronx’s Poe Park Visitor Center, designed by Toshiko Mori.


The new visitor center is the first park project to be completed as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Design and Construction Excellence Initiative. By making it easier to get talented architects on the job, the program aims at bringing good design to even the humblest city-funded projects. The Poe Center was designed by Toshiko Mori, an award-winning architect and a former chairman of the department of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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