The Anderson House

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Anderson House

Each week, I walk by this mansion at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue. And though I’ve passed by it for years, I never went inside.

Until Saturday. The doors were open with a sign that advertised tours between 1:00 – 4:00 pm. I was planning to go through the American Impressionism exhibit at the Phillips Collection, so I figured I’d be ambitious and do both.

Built for Larz Anderson III and his wife Isabel Weld Perkins by Little & Browne of Boston, the Beaux Arts style mansion was their winter residence and party central between 1905 and Anderson’s death in 1937.

Ground broke on the Anderson House in 1902. When the building was complete in 1905, legend has it three quarries in Italy shut down, emptied of all their marble.

Now, the mansion is headquarters to the Society of the Cincinnati and holds hour-long docent-led tours Tuesdays – Saturdays between 1-4:00 p.m.

Though the artwork is less than impressive, the architecture is well worth the tour. Secret passageways, goldleaf, murals that resemble tapestries, inlaid wood floors and marble everywhere.

On Tuesday, 28 August at 7:00 pm, there will be a lecture and book-signing by Scott W. Berg, assistant professor at George Mason University. He will discuss and sign copies of Grand Avenues: The Story of the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, DC.

There is also a concert series which begins on September 8.

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