The Restoration Process

The Mark Twain House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, one of the first 100 properties in the nation, and is the winner of a major award for restoration from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. However the restoration of an historic property is never static. An ongoing interpretation of the property requires continual revisiting of the building restoration.

The goal of The Mark Twain House restoration is to bring the historic property to the period of 1881 through 1891 by removing architectural and decorative features that were added by the people who occupied the house following the Clemenses. This will allow visitors to see the house after Tiffany and Associated Artists completed the redecoration of the first floor rooms, and it represents the decade when the Clemenses most completely furnished their home, and had improved the land to their greatest satisfaction.

The physical alterations we make to the house during restoration must be based on documentary and physical evidence. When we change the appearance of any part of The Mark Twain House, we document as a record for future generations any features or materials that we remove or alter.

There is an educational component to the restoration project. Visitors coming to The Mark Twain House during the restoration period will have an unique opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes and watch up-close as master craftsmen bring the house back to the period between 1881 and 1891.

The significant restoration projects underway at The Mark Twain House & Museum have been funded in part by a grant from Save America's Treasures, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In addition, work at the house is being supported through a new initiative, Restore America, a partnership of cable television network HGTV and the National Trust. HGTV has donated $1 million toward the restoration and preservation of 12 Save America's Treasures sites, including The Mark Twain House.


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Donations for Restoration

We are constantly working to restore The Mark Twain House to the time when the Clemens family lived here, and can use your help.

Virtual Tour

Get a preview of the splendor you'll see on the tour. Pick your favorite room so you can concentrate on the details during your visit!

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