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The New York Times, April 26, 1925


Arrangements to Be Announced at Village Historical Society Dinner Tuesday.

Definite arrangements for the unveiling of the tablet in honor of Mark Twain which the Greenwich Village Historical Society will place on the old house at 21 Fifth Avenue, where the humorist lived for several years, will be announced by Mrs. Catherine Parker Clivette, President of the society, at its patriotic dinner dance on Tuesday evening at Gonfarone's, corner of Eighth and Macdougal Streets. While dinner will be commemorative of Thomas Jefferson, the chief interest for the members will be in the Mark Twain tablet.

Mrs. Clivette said yesterday that she had received a letter from Mrs. Ossip Gabrilowitsch, daughter of Mark Twain, saying that she would make a special effort to be present at the unveiling exercises, and she related several interesting incidents of her father's occupancy of the house.

The house is at the southeast corner of Ninth Street, diagonally opposite the old Breevort mansion which, after standing more than eighty-five years, is about to be torn down for a tall apartment house. The Mark Twain house, as it has been popularly known in Washington Square circle since the author's death in 1910, is one of the few dignified homesteads remaining on lower Fifth Avenue. It was built by James Renwick, the eminent physicist and head of the chemical department at Columbia College for many years. One of his sons, also James Renwick, was a prominent architect, being the designer of Grace Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Corcoran Art Gallery at Washington and the main Vassar College building. The house has always remained in the ownership of the Renwick family, the present owner being Edward Renwick Whittingham. The elder James Renwick was an intimate friend of Washington Irving, and the latter frequently visited there during his short trips to the city from his country seat, Sunnyside, near Irvington-on-the-Hudson.

The proposed tablet will commemorate the occupancy of the house by both Irving and Mark Twain. It is being designed by the sculptor, Pietro Montana, who designed several of the war memorials in Brooklyn. Mrs. Clivette said yesterday she expected the tablet would be finished so that it can be unveiled during the last week in May.

Miss Reba Talbott Swain, Deputy Attorney General of New York State, and Miss Martha Cochrane Sears, manager of the Women's Department of the Bank of the United States, will be honor guests at the dinner. Other guests and speakers will be Louis E. Bisch, the playwright whose psychological drama, "The Complex," is among the current productions, and Warren Hall of the Industrial Bureau of Psychology.

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