Thumbs up to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for footing much of the bill to clean up mold damage at the Mark Twain museum in Hartford. It's hard for American literature lovers to think of those leather-bound first editions moldering in storage without cringing.
A malfunctioning heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the 14-year-old museum was to blame. (The museum sits behind the author's exquisite 19th-century home on Farmington Avenue.) The HVAC system has been, hopefully, fixed with state funds. Now comes the mold removal, painstaking work that will take months. The total cost of repairs is more than $1 million, with the Hartford Foundation paying $223,900 toward the mold work.
The Twain House has had more than its share of bad luck, including the embezzlement of more than $1 million by a former controller. Donna Gregor was sentenced to 31/2 years in prison for stealing from the home from 2002 to 2010.