Twain Goes Green

by Julia Pistell, Communication and Membership Associate |

We are proud of our ongoing commitment to energy conservation and our efforts to operate as a green organization while simultaneously delivering an enriching and enjoyable museum experience.

A visit to Mark Twain's Hartford home includes both the historic house and The Mark Twain Museum Center, which opened in 2003. Our facility was the first museum in the nation, and the first building of any kind in Connecticut, to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The LEED Certification was presented to the museum on April 19, 2004. The museum also received the Environmental Leadership Award from the Connecticut Green Building Council and a 2004 GreenCircle Certificate from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

However, The Mark Twain House & Museum is not content to rest on its environmental laurels: it is constantly seeking new and better ways to be a leader in environmental efforts. The museum has been fortunate to partner with several organizations to meet this goal:

United Technologies Corporation helped the museum address problems with its HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.
Connecticut Light & Power Company, through its Conservation and Load Management program, assisted the museum's efforts to convert all the light fixtures in the Museum Center from fluorescent bulbs to LED bulbs.
Emerging Technology Associates sourced the new LED bulbs, and helped the museum receive an Energy Star Partner. See our Energy Star success story.
Con Serv., Inc., assisted the museum with the bulb installation.
ET Solar USA agreed to donate photovoltaic panel technology for use on the Museum Center.
Tychon Energy Systems is working closely with the museum on an upcoming solar panel project.
The Mark Twain House & Museum has achieved an Energy Star Partner. See our Energy Star success story.

The Numbers Tell the Story:

The Mark Twain House & Museum was in a financial crisis before these changes were made. Now, through the conversion to LED bulbs and the HVAC system changes and repairs, the museum has saved over 125,231 kilowatt-hours and experienced dramatic financial savings. In the Museum Center, electricity costs have been reduced by 45 percent.

Due to these dramatic results, the museum will now focus on Twain's historic home. Soon it will begin to update the building's HVAC systems and source new LED bulbs for the author's Hartford mansion.

You can help us continue this work by donating to our ongoing green projects here.

Best of all, these energy improvements have furthered the museum's mission of fostering an appreciation of Mark Twain's legacy. When Samuel and Olivia Clemens built their Picturesque Gothic mansion in 1874, it was the epitome of a modern home, with features such as central heating, hot and cold running water and gas lighting fixtures. We suspect they would approve of the use of the best new technologies to preserve and honor their beloved home and the natural world.

Clemens, after all, had a deep sensitivity to the environment and the preservation of the natural world, as he expressed in Life on the Mississippi: "There were graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances; and over the whole scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily, enriching it, every passing moment, with new marvels of coloring. I stood like one bewitched. I drank it in, in a speechless rapture."

The Mark Twain House & Museum is committed to this vision.

Donate to Our Green Building

The Mark Twain House & Museum hopes to continuously renew its commitment to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, but we need your help. Your donation to the museum will ensure that Mark Twain's legacy will continue on at little cost to the natural world he admired so much.

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Support Twain Going "Green"

Your donation to the museum will ensure that Mark Twain's legacy will continue on at little cost to the natural world he admired so much.