Leroy Anderson House, Woodbury, Connecticut

National Register of Historic Places

Leroy Anderson spent the summer of 1946 at Painter Hill in Woodbury, Connecticut. It was here that he composed Sleigh Ride during a heat wave. Two years later the Andersons settled in Woodbury permanently, first to Eleanor Anderson’s mother’s house on Painter Hill Road.

The Andersons built a modernist home on Grassy Hill in 1953. During these years Leroy Anderson wrote many of his well-loved compositions. The Leroy Anderson House was designed by architect Joseph Stein (1916-1977) of Waterbury, Connecticut and was constructed (1953-1954) by the McGinn Company of Naugatuck, Connecticut.  The house is a Mid-Century Modern residence and is the earliest example of Stein’s residential house designs.  Characteristic of Stein, the building features large expanses of glass, native stone in walls and floors, geometric massing, and a lack of ornamentation.  The two-story house rests naturally into the gently sloping, eastern base of Grassy Hill with views of Woodbury to the east.

Since the Autumn of 2016, the house and its surroundings are owned and maintained by the Leroy Anderson Foundation, Inc. as a historic house and site dedicated to preserving the legacy of one of the 20th Century’s most important American composers.  The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 31, 2012, and was accepted on two criterion – (B) Person of prominence and (C) Architecture.

The Leroy Anderson House retains most of its original Danish Modern furnishings and contains an exhibit about Leroy Anderson.  The house is occasionally open to the public.  Admission is by email reservation only: info[at]leroyandersonfoundation[dot]org.

Group Visits may be arranged by advance reservation. For information contact the Leroy Anderson Foundation.  The Leroy Anderson Foundation supports the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Woodbury Summer Woodbury Winter Memorial Placque

Leroy Anderson House
Grassy Hill Road
Woodbury, Connecticut
Summer 2008

Leroy Anderson House
Grassy Hill Road
Woodbury, Connecticut
Winter 2008

 

 

 

Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra continued to premier Leroy's works including Sleigh Ride, Fiddle-Faddle and Trumpeter's Lullaby, until 1950. After that Leroy conducted the premieres of his works when he recorded them for Decca Records. Among these pieces were Belle of the Ball, Blue Tango, Bugler's Holiday, Forgotten Dreams, Horse and Buggy, Plink, Plank, Plunk!, Serenata, The Typewriter and Waltzing Cat. It was his own recording of Blue Tango that made #1 on the Hit Parade of 1952. The popularity of Leroy Anderson's music was rapidly spreading around the world. By 1952 Leroy had established himself as the pre-eminent American composer of light concert music.

During these years Leroy often took his family to New York to see Broadway shows and to visit the sites of the city he and his wife had come to know. Leroy was an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church which the family regularly attended. He guest-conducted orchestras throughout the United States, Canada and Sweden. In the late sixties Leroy served on the boards of the New Haven and Hartford Symphonies and also as acting manager of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.

The Leroy Anderson Memorial Bandstand on Woodbury's North Green was built by the Woodbury Lions Club in 1986. The West Point Military Academy Band gave a concert on the North Green in 1986 as part of the dedication ceremony to honor Leroy Anderson.

Leroy Anderson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976 at 1620 Vine Street for his contribution to the recording industry.

Leroy Anderson was elected posthumously to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988.

The United States National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri has designated Leroy Anderson as a Person of Exceptional Prominence, defined as "a historically significant individual", for his service in the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps in Iceland and in the Department of Military Intelligence at the Pentagon during World War 2.

Harvard University named its new Harvard University Band headquarters the Anderson Band Center in honor of Leroy Anderson in 1995. Cambridge, Massachusetts Mayor Michael Sullivan and the Cambridge City Council dedicated the corner of Chatham and Crawford Streets as Leroy Anderson Square on May 31, 2003.

 

Leroy Anderson House - Open Days

The National Park Service named The Leroy Anderson House to the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 2012.

Also visit the official website for Leroy Anderson maintained by his family.