I’ve driven past this place a hundred times. It’s along the route I take to drive to Georgetown, and across from the Embassy Row Hotel, which used to have awesome rooftop pool parties and has great views of DC.
But I digress. We're here for this:
The Grand Staircase:
For 30 years, Anderson House (1905), a “"Florentine villa in the midst of American independence” was considered “one of the capital city's most fashionable mansions”. The 27,000 square foot, 50-room winter home was once the private residence of American diplomat Larz Anderson, and his wife, Isabel, an author. In case you’re wondering, why DC in winter (since it can get really cold), New Year’s Day to Easter is the height of the social season still. It’s because Congress is back in session, which means everyone politically important is back in town. A gathering at the Anderson home was a sought-after invitation as they hosted diplomatic and inaugural receptions, formal dinners and luncheons, concerts, and dramatic performances. Among their distinguished guest: Presidents William H. Taft and Calvin Coolidge, Henry A. du Pont, members of the Vanderbilt family, and more.
Check out the ballroom where the Andersons hosted their guests:
A iron staircase. Look at that metal work!
A view from the ballroom balcony:
The ballroom ceiling:
The Winter Garden (sans all the plants) just off the ballroom.
And the formal dining room upstairs:
The candelabra. Geez Louise!
The details: tapestries, curtains, and china. .
As a diplomat, Mr. Anderson (and his wife) travelled extensively, racking up art from around the globe. Their $750k home functioned as a de facto museum for an extensive collection. The “eclectic” interiors includeEnglish and Italian influences, carved wood walls, gilded ceilings, ornate iron staircases, (see above) and two (!) elevators.
The gallery, one of the many places the Andersons showcased their art:
A carved ivory tusk:
The French and English drawing rooms:
I'm horrible. I can't remember what this room was used for. I was amazed and got lost taking pictures. My bad. Just appreciate the details like I did:
The choir stall room:
When Larz Anderson died in 1937, the Mrs. oversaw the transfer of the estate and all of its contents to the Society of the Cincinnati. This National Historic Landmark has been open to the public as a historic house museum since 1939. Tours are free.
For more information: HERE
Images provided by Demetria Lucas D'Oyley. All rights reserved.