The Anderson House: The Complete Guide

Exterior of Anderson House
Anderson House/Facebook

Go back in time at the Anderson House—back to 1905, when this home was one of Washington, D.C.'s most fashionable mansions. The grand mansion that once saw visits by presidents like William H. Taft and Calvin Coolidge is now a museum that is open to the public. See the home's lavish furnishings, along with exhibits showcasing artifacts from the Revolutionary War and the Society of the Cincinnati (now headquartered in the Anderson House).

 

The History of Anderson House 

American diplomat Larz Anderson and his wife Isabel held court for more than 30 years in this gorgeous, circa-1905 D.C. mansion designed to be the couple's winter home. No expense was spared for the $750,000 home, which included a tennis court, electricity, telephones, central heat, and elevators. According to the Anderson House's website, the home featured stunning touches like marble floors and gilded papier-mâché ceilings. 

It's a home built for entertaining, and the Andersons hosted concerts, formal dinners, diplomatic receptions, and more events for esteemed D.C. guests like Henry A. du Pont and members of the Vanderbilt family.

After the death of Larz Anderson in 1937, Isabel donated the Anderson House to the Society of Cincinnati. This community is dedicated to the patriots of the American Revolution, and Anderson had been a devoted member. The public has visited the museum since 1939, and it is deemed a National Historic Landmark.

 

What To See and Do There

There are 4,000 items in the museum's collection, including works of art that tell the story of the Revolutionary War as well as swords and firearms from the era. Visitors can also pour over items from the Anderson's art collection, including Flemish tapestries along with ceramics, textiles and artworks from Japan, China, India and Nepal.

Enjoy the mansion's walled garden and traipse through its elegant two-story ballroom and French drawing room.

Annual Events

Besides special events like lectures, book signings, and an American Girl tea party complete with dolls and books, the Anderson House participates in the annual Dupont Kalorama Museums Consortium museum walk weekend in early June, where several museums in the Dupont Circle neighborhood offer free activities to visitors, such as live music, food, exhibits, and more. The Anderson House also hosts concerts throughout the year; consult the calendar to see all public events.

Things to Do Nearby

For more attractions in the neighborhood, consider visiting priceless works of art at The Phillips Collection, which is just a three-minute walk away. Woodrow Wilson House is another historic mansion in the area that's worth visiting as well. Or take a walk down Embassy Row on Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont Circle toward the National Cathedral to see the world without leaving Dupont Circle via the stately embassies.

Plan Your Visit

Location: Anderson House is located in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood at 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. The nearest metro stop is the Dupont Circle station on the Red Line, using the Q Street/North exit.

Hours: The museum at Anderson House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission: There's no cost to enter the museum; admission is free.