Matt About Town: Take in the splendor of America’s Gilded Age at a little-known Dupont Circle mansion

Take in the splendor of America's Gilded Age at this Dupont Circle mansion

It’s Dupont Circle’s most elegant hidden gem — one you may have driven by and never even noticed.

In today’s episode of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax heads to Northwest D.C. to check out all 45,000 square feet of the Larz Anderson House.

Completed in 1905, this opulent mansion was once the home of the former U.S. ambassador to Belgium and Japan, Larz Anderson, and his wife Isabel.

Believe it or not, this house was only their home in the winter months (the couple lived in Boston most of the year). They used it primarily to host political and diplomatic friends, but also threw many extravagant parties for D.C.’s social elite.

The group that preserves the space today is one of America’s oldest members-only organizations: the Society of the Cincinnati.

To belong to the Society, you must prove you are the descendant of an officer in George Washington’s Continental Army. In other words, you have to demonstrate that your distant relatives fought on the U.S. side of the Revolutionary War.

The Society’s director Andy Morse told Matt that this is what gives the story of the Larz Anderson House another dimension: the fact that underneath all the riches on display, there’s a museum inside the home. There, you can learn about the cost of freedom, rooted in a message of patriotism and democracy.

Of course, there’s still plenty of glamour to explore, too. Come along with Matt to take a deep dive, and check out how the Gilded Age aristocrats lived. Whether it’s a “floating” staircase, a dining room table meant to seat 45, or an underground library vault filled with priceless works and artifacts, the “oohs” and “ahs” are sure to be flowing.

“Matt About Town” airs every Tuesday and Thursday on WTOP at 7:45 a.m., and runs throughout the rest of the day on 103.5 FM. His video pieces are always posted on

You can also find Matt’s videos on Instagram (@wtopnews and @mkaufax) and TikTok (@wtopnews and @mattabouttown_).

If you’ve got an idea for a feature story Matt should cover, reach out via the WTOP “contact us” page to submit your idea.

You can also contact Matt directly. His contact information is listed below. 

Check out more of “Matt About Town” on WTOP.

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Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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