Built for diplomat Larz Anderson and his wife Isabel Weld Perkins Anderson, an author, philanthropist, and heiress to a trading fortune, the Anderson House also served as the temporary residence of many visiting dignitaries.
Anderson himself was a descendant of a founder of the Society of the Cincinnati, which had been established in 1783 as an association of the descendants of Revolutionary War officers. In 1937, he donated the property to the society for use as a museum and national headquarters.
The mansion is among the finest works of Boston architects Little and Browne. Its monumental design in the style of the late English Baroque is particularly notable for the imposing avenue facade. A semicircular entry portico rises within a paved court enclosed by tall wings and a half-height street wall; views over the wall and through a pair of arched portico provide glimpses of the private enclave within. By contrast, the south-facing garden front is generously open. Notable among the lavish interiors are a great stair hall and gallery.