John Canning & Co. Earns the 2020 Preservation Connecticut Award of Merit.

Work done at Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut.

Preservation CT Award of Merit For Mark Twain House & Museum Project

Cheshire CT, July 2020: John Canning & Co., earned the 2020 Preservation Connecticut Award of Merit for the work completed at the Mahogany Suite at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. John Canning & Co., restored the architectural woodwork and plaster as well as reinstated the wallcoverings in The Mahogany Suite. The Preservation Connecticut Award comes after winning the 2020 Palladio Award and the 2020 Bullfinch Award in the Craftsmanship/Artisanship for the Mahogany Suite work.

Preservation Connecticut’s mission is to preserve, protect, and promote the buildings, sites, and landscapes that contribute to the heritage and vitality of Connecticut communities. Every year, Preservation Connecticut recognizes outstanding achievement in protecting and nourishing Connecticut’s significant buildings, landscapes, and communities with their merit awards.

The Mark Twain House and Museum was built in 1874, was originally the home of author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who you may recognize under the pen name, Mark Twain. The Mark Twain House and Museum was one of the first one-hundred properties in the nation to be designated a National Landmark. Designed in a Victorian Gothic Revival style, the Mahogany Suite was best known as the guest suite where the family would host their guests and close friends. Before the restoration, the space had been closed since the Early 2000’s.

The Mahogany Suite project involved various levels of craftsmanship from John Canning & Co., to restore a key room in the Mark Twain House & Museum for its visitors to be able to enjoy and experience a glimpse into the life of Mark Twain. This project required an understanding of traditional historic finishes in order to be able to return the space to the “royal chamber” it was famously known for. The woodwork throughout the suite had incurred serious water damage in multiple areas and the overall interior was unfortunately suffering from staining and failing finishes. The original mahogany woodwork was stripped and restored to its historic finish using traditional aniline dyes. The plaster had sustained serious water damage in several areas and was repaired and restored. The historic wallcoverings, were reinstated throughout the space. Within the Mahogany suite, five different wallpapers were used to restore the interior: the ceiling, frieze, wall field, wainscot, and baseboard border. Traditional wallpaper installation techniques needed to be used in order to make the wallpapers blend seamlessly. David Scott Parker did historic finishes research to determine wallpaper design.

Through a team effort from the General Contractor Downes Construction and Architect David Scott Parker, and John Canning & Co. the Mark Twain House and Museum’s Mahogany Suite can now be enjoyed by the tens of thousands of visitors it gets every year.

Mark Twain House

Located in Cheshire, CT., John Canning & Co., is one of the nation’s experts in historic restoration, conservation and preservation. John Canning & Co. offers services in a variety of areas including: conservation, planning, designing, historic paint analysis, plaster condition surveys, restoration, decorative finishes and painting, budgeting and consulting.  John Canning & Co. with over 40 years of experience has received numerous awards and have been entrusted to restore state capitols, courthouses, churches, libraries, museums, theatres, educational establishments and other historic buildings. In addition to this Preservation Connecticut Award, we also received the 2020 Preservation Connecticut Award of Merit for the work completed at the First Congregational Church of West Haven in Connecticut.

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