While on a recent bike ride in the Embassy Row area along Massachusetts Avenue in northwest D.C., I saw a statue of George Washington on the front lawn of what appeared to be an embassy. Wondering what country’s embassy would be displaying a statue of the father of this country, I stopped to check it out. It turns out that it is not an embassy after all. Rather, it is Anderson House, also known as Larz Anderson House. Mr. Anderson was an American businessman, diplomat and philantropist, and the Beaux Arts-style mansion was he and his wife’s winter residence during the Washington social season. Mr. Anderson was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and after his death his wife, Isabel Anderson, donated the house to the Society. It now houses the headquarters, library, and museum of the Society of the Cincinnati.
The Society of the Cincinnati is this country’s oldest patriotic organization, and the oldest lineage society in North America. It was founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolutionary War. The Society’s original purpose was to promote knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence, preserve the ideals and foster fellowship among the American Revolutionary War officer members who founded it, and to pressure the government to honor pledges it had made to officers who fought for American independence.
Now in its third century, the modern Society at Anderson House is a nonprofit historical, diplomatic, and educational organization devoted to the principles and ideals of its founders. Its mission is to promote public interest in the American Revolution through its library and museum collections, exhibitions, programs, publications, and other activities.
Anderson House is located at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue (MAP), between 21st and 22nd streets along Embassy Row in the heart of northwest D.C.’s historic Dupont Circle neighborhood. The Society encourages the public to visit Anderson House and to use the library, attend a lecture, tour the museum, or view one of the exhibitions. Museum Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., and library Hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. And although it is a privately-owned museum and library, admission is free.