The Museum Collection
Pergola Constructed from the Bricks of the Southern Literary Messenger Building
Description:This pergola, known as the Poe Shrine, was constructed in 1921 from bricks and granite salvaged from the building in which Edgar Allan Poe began his journalistic career with the Southern Literary Messenger.
The building was condemned and demolished in 1916. Though the Poe Memorial Association, led by Poe scholar James H. Whitty, had failed to save the structure, the building's owner promised to save for them the building materials. A lack of funds and the first World War prevented any immediate action. In 1921, Whitty and Archer Jones, owner of the Duplex Envelope Company, devised a plan to move the bricks five blocks east to the empty lot behind the Old Stone House, the oldest house then standing in the original city limits of Richmond. Some of the bricks and granite were used to construct this pergola, while building materials were also used to make eleven bookcases, to pave the garden walkways, to build a wall around the garden, and to restore the Old Stone House.