The oldest standing house in the city of Richmond recently got a tidying up as part of a local museum’s preservation project.
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum earlier this month finished a round of repairs to its Old Stone House at 1914-16 E. Main St. in Shockoe Bottom.
The property, built between the 1730s and 1750s, still has some of its original wood planks in its flooring, which were becoming unsafe and needed either replacing or repairing.
Poe Museum spokesman Tyler Minks said the museum brought in Rusty Robinson, a South Carolina-based historic preservationist, to handle the job.
“That floor’s been through a lot,” Minks said. “The flooring is pretty much authentic and (Robinson) sanded many of the old floorboards.”
The bulk of the four neighboring buildings that make up the museum also were renamed and repurposed as a part of the project, which began in early February and wrapped up March 6.
The museum’s visitor center and gift shop was formerly in the Old Stone House, but has been moved into its Model Building.
The Model Building was named for the museum’s 16-foot-long scale model of Richmond as it was when Edgar Allan Poe lived here. The model is in storage being cleaned and the museum plans to bring it back soon, Minks said.
The upper floor of the museum’s Memorial Building is being converted from staff offices into a library and reading area, while the building’s downstairs will remain an exhibit space. Lastly, its Exhibit Building is being renamed the North Building, and will feature an exhibit from local artist Nicole Pisaniello.
An enshrinement for the 19th-century author, the museum features artifacts from Poe’s life and other educational resources about him. It is operated by the Poe Foundation, a nonprofit with roots dating to the early 1900s.
Though Poe was born in Boston and died in Baltimore, it was in Richmond that he grew up and rose to literary prominence.
The Poe Foundation brought in $290,000 in revenue in 2016, according to nonprofit tracker Guidestar, up from $258,000 the year prior.
Minks said while the museum is visited by many tourists, it’s also enjoyed an uptick in local attendees thanks to monthly Unhappy Hour events held in its Enchanted Garden.