From Battlefields to Beaux-Arts: The Story of Anderson House

Stepping into the Anderson House Museum in Washington, D.C., is like unlocking a time capsule to America’s revolutionary past. Nestled in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood, this historic gem, managed by the Society of the Cincinnati, offers a unique window into the soul of a nation forged in the fires of war and ambition. It reminds us of the enduring spirit of fellowship and liberty that shaped the United States. Here, every room tells a story and every artifact whispers of valor.

Visitors to the museum at Anderson House can tour the first two floors of the house, decorated with the Andersons’ collection and interpreted to illuminate the world of entertaining and collecting in Washington. Visitors can also view changing exhibitions devoted to the history of the American Revolution, the Society of the Cincinnati, and Anderson House and its former occupants.

The Society of the Cincinnati, founded in 1783, is among the oldest hereditary societies in the U.S. Its roots trace back to Continental Army officers and their French counterparts. Named after Roman general Cincinnatus, the society embodies the ideals of leadership and civic duty.

Do you enjoy house museums? Hillwood Estate is another house museum and gardens in DC worth your visit!

This fraternal society honors the American Revolutionary War and its veterans. It promotes fellowship, remembers service and sacrifices, and advocates for liberty. Membership passes down through generations of officers from the Continental Army.

The Society operates out of Anderson House, its D.C. headquarters. This museum and library celebrate the American Revolution and the Continental Army’s legacy. Here, history comes alive through artifacts, educational programs, and lectures.

About Anderson House

Anderson House, built between 1902 and 1905 for Larz Anderson and his wife Isabel, is a marvel of Beaux-Arts architecture. It served as the couple’s winter residence. Its interiors dazzle with woodwork, marble fireplaces, and stained glass. The house showcases an impressive art collection, offering insight into Washington’s Gilded Era life. Larz was an American diplomat, and his career took him to London, Rome, Belgium and Japan. Isabel Weld Perkins was an author and American Red Cross volunteer.

The Andersons used the house to entertain the social and political elite of America and abroad, as well as to showcase their collection of fine art and historic artifacts that the couple acquired in their extensive travels over the 40 years of their marriage. The Andersons had no children. Following Larz Anderson’s death in 1937, his widow donated the house and its contents to the Society of the Cincinnati, of which Larz Anderson had been a devoted member for more than 40 years.

Guided tours unravel the history of the house, its occupants and the Cincinnati Society. The museum often holds special events and exhibitions. The garden, a tranquil retreat, features lush greenery, statues and fountains.

The Anderson House Museum enriches Washington, D.C., with its historical and cultural significance. It invites visitors to explore the elegance of the Gilded Age and the spirit of the American Revolution. A visit here is not just a step back in time but a journey through America’s founding stories.

Know Before You Go

The house is only a short walk away from the Wilson House, another historic house museum in Washington DC. To get to the Anderson House, it’s recommended to take the Metro subway system, take the Red line to the Dupont Circle station (Q Street/North exit). At the top of the escalators, turn left on Q Street. In one block, turn left toward Massachusetts Avenue. Anderson House is across the street, to the right. There is only metered street parking near the house museum.

Getting there: 2118 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m.; closed major holidays and for the Society’s annual meeting in early May (check the website below to ensure the house museum is open)
Website: Larz Anderson House

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