Kaplan states that the house at 351 Farmington Avenue had "a wealth of
idiosyncratic delights which its owner worked out with Edward Tuckerman
Potter, his fashionable and eclectic New York architect." (Mr. Clemens and
Mark Twain, pp. 181-2)  There also is refernce to the fact that Clemens liked
sitting in front of the fireplace and being able to look out the window
directly above the mantel, enabling him to see the flames and the snowflakes
at the same time.  I have more information somewhere here in this boar's nest
I call my office and if I can find it, I will let you know.  My overall sense
is that Twain was directly involved and if there was a kind of satire going
on, Potter was party to it.
Marc Koechig
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