A visit to Anderson House is about marveling over the palatial architecture and interior design (love the ballroom), the display of artwork—from Flemish tapestries to Asian and European paintings and antiquities, and Revolutionary War artifacts. A bit of background: This limestone-veneered Italianate mansion, fronted by twin arches and a Corinthian-columned portico, was built between 1902 and 1905. Its original owners were career diplomat Larz Anderson III, who served as ambassador to Japan in 1912 and 1913, and his heiress wife, Isabel. The couple traveled a lot and filled their home with beautiful purchases from those journeys. Larz and Isabel were popular hosts in the capital and counted presidents and foreign dignitaries among their guests. Since Larz’s death in 1937, the house has served as headquarters for the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization founded in 1783 for descendants of army officers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Anderson’s great-grandfather was a founder and George Washington the society’s first president-general. Anderson House hosts exhibits, concerts, and lectures throughout the year; all are free and open to the public.
- Elise Hartman Ford