The Mark Twain House and Museum has been awarded a $496,000 grant from the federal government to fund renovation of the Charles Boardman Smith House on Forest Street, across the street from the Twain house. Here's a press release on the grant from the office of U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Connecticut:
"WASHINGTON – The Mark Twain House and Museum will receive $496,000 in federal funds to renovate historic properties on Forest Street in Hartford, CT, Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman announced today. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the museum a Special Project Grant for restoration and development of the properties.
"'Mark Twain was an American original. It’s no surprise that the Mark Twain House and Museum is one of Connecticut’s premier attractions,' said Dodd. 'This assistance can help further preserve and promote this American icon’s legacy.'
"'The Mark Twain House and Museum has firmly established itself as an important mainstay within the Greater Hartford community and the State of Connecticut,' Lieberman said. 'By affording the museum the opportunity to renovate and expand its own facility, the Special Project Grant will also allow it to contribute to the educational and historic character of this national treasure.'
"This important landmark and center for learning has been a premiere tourist attraction for the State of Connecticut since 1927. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the Mark Twain House seeks to preserve the honor and legacy of the author, Samuel Clemens. In 1977 the National Trust for Historic Preservation honored the museum by presenting it with the David E. Finley Award for 'exemplary restoration.'
"The museum purchased the Charles Boardman Smith House from the Antiquarian & Landmark Society, located on Forest Street, in the Spring of 2005. The renovation of the Forest Street property, which houses administrative offices and conference rooms, will allow the Mark Twain House and Museum to reopen a number of spaces in the Main House for public viewing.
"The Mark Twain House and Museum attracts more than 60,000 visitors from all 50 states, as well as from 70 other countries, annually."