'Dear Spider-Man': Museum highlights letters sent to 'Peter Parker's house' in NYC

ByCeFaan Kim Localish logo
Friday, March 17, 2023
Museum highlights letters sent to 'Peter Parker's house' in NYC
The stories of Spider-Man live in comic books, on movie screens, and at a house in Forest Hills, Queens.

FOREST HILLS, QUEENS, NEW YORK -- The stories of Spider-Man live in comic books, on movie screens, and at a house in Forest Hills, Queens.

A family that lived at 20 Ingram St. for over 30 years received hundreds of letters from people who believed Peter Parker really lived there.

This address of the home appeared in a 1989 Spider-Man comic book.

Those who chose to believe in Marvel magic, children and adults, flooded the home with messages for decades.

Many of those letters started off with the words, "Dear Spider-Man," followed by messages like, "I think you are the best superhero" or "can you send me a costume?"

They came from all over the world, like Kentucky, the Netherlands and from India.

Now, dozens of letters are on display at the City Reliquary Museum as part of the "Dear Spider-Man, Letters to Peter Parker" exhibit.

"Some of them are really hoping that Spider-Man can provide the equipment that they need," said Dave Herman of the City Reliquary Museum. "In particular, he's known for the web slinger and kids want to be able to shoot that web."

Herman is the founder of the City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

"Our board member Pamela Parker grew up in this household," he said. "It was her mother Suzanne Parker who actually started getting some of these letters thinking they're odd at first, maybe a prank."

The Parkers moved into 20 Ingram St. in Forest Hills, Queens in 1974. But Peter Parker's home address wasn't revealed until 1989.

"You had to be a true fan that's following it from issue to issue to see the subsequent issue where you actually see the other half of the change of address form, and you get to put those pieces together," Herman said.

He says the comic-book writers deny any connection, but he thinks they likely wanted to keep the story authentic and maybe picked a name and address out of the phone book.

"I knew Suzanne Parker and I sold the house from Suzanne Parker to the current owner," realtor Gigi Malek said. "As soon as the comic book identified 20 Ingram as the Spider-Man house, they became flooded."

The house is listed again by the way, and again Malek is the agent.

"It does not add any value, but it is a lot of fun and we do mention it when people come in," he said. "We do give little gifts, little Spider-Man gifts when people come in, but it does not add any value."

In fact, 20 Ingram has become so synonymous with Spider-Man, that over the years the Parkers even received credit card offers addressed to Peter Parker.

Even mail simply addressed to Peter Parker in Forest Hills made it to this mailbox.

"At a certain point you start to realize that the postal service is in cahoots here," Herman said.

It's proof that whether you're young or old, superheroes are as real as we want them to be.

The exhibit will be open until April 2. After that, the museum will preserve these letters.