Historian and filmmaker Ken Burns once described the artifact collection of The Mark Twain House & Museum as a “treasure trove of unbelievable holdings on the life, work and history of Mark Twain”. With thousands of those items at risk from mold the museum pulled together the expert services of a team of local professionals, including Duct & Vent Cleaning of America, Inc to fix the structural and HVAC problems as well as restore the homes for historical accuracy.
Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain lived on adjoining properties in Hartford. The two expansive brick homes, built in the early 1870’s on a hillside near the leafy grounds of a mental hospital, were turned into museums decades ago. 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.
“I was honored that DVCA was entrusted to clean the duct systems in both homes” says James Choquette, VP & Executive Account Manager for Duct & Vent Cleaning of America, Inc. “Walking through the halls of these historic homes sent chills down my spine, knowing that such legendary American literary icons lived and gathered inspiration for writing historic books such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” says Choquette.
A team of 2-4 men worked on cleaning the duct systems. Only careful “contact vacuuming” cleaning methods were utilized on these projects to ensure that all the debris was removed from the ductwork and not dispersed back into the historic homes, as can sometimes happen with compressed air cleaning methods used by other companies. “We treated these homes with the respect that they deserved by utilizing cleaning techniques that we have perfected in such places as hospitals & fortune 500 businesses over the past 28 years in business” says Choquette. Each project took approximately a week to complete.
Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment”. The complement of DVCA being chosen to clean the ductwork in these historic homes is one that will keep us going for years to come.
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