Saturday, June 13, 2009

Historic Biltmore House....Part One....

The Biltmore House is a chatequesque style mansion near Asheville, North Carolina, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1888 and 1895. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States at 175,000 square feet and featuring 250 rooms. Still owned by one of Vanderbilts decendants it stands today as one of the most prominent remaning examples of the Gilded Age. Over a six-year period, an entire community of craftsmen worked to build the country's premier home. The estate boasted its own brick factory, woodworking shop, and a three-mile railway spur for transporting materials to the site. The celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt modeled the house on three châteaux built in 16th-century France. It would feature 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement alone would house a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants' quarters, kitchens, and more. On Christmas Eve 1895, George Vanderbilt officially opened Biltmore House. Three years later, he brought his bride to Biltmore and in 1900 their only child, a daughter, was born there. After Vanderbilts death in 1914 from appendectomy complications his wife and daughter continued to live there, with his wife managing the estate. In respone to requests to increase area tourism during the Depression and to bring in money to preserve the estate the house was opened to the public in 1930. This is where my son wanted to spend his ninth birthday. As no pictures were allowed to be taken in the house I took lots of the outside, gardens, green house plants and such. I will spend the next few posts on this incredible place. I hope you enjoy.
The picture was taken in front of a huge fountain
where we rested our sore feet.
The outside view of the Grand Staircase
that goes up 4 floors
and has 120 steps.
Like any good "castle" it has a
variety of "protectors"
I personally liked the gargoyles.
A few of the west side through
the Shrub Garden
The west side. There used to
be a pool here, but it was filled in
years ago.
part of the back of the house
taken from the terrace on
the west side.
statues which would of surrounded
the pool.
fountains were found along several walls
and they were all very

There isn't any way I can do this place justice. It's just incredible. I need to go back some day and just spend hours on the grounds taking pictures. Without husband and kids in tow. That way I can take my time and go wherever I want.

Tomorrow I will let you see some of the ground photos and flowers that are found in their several gardens. Stay tuned.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Terrific photos! I like the gargoyles, too. If I remember correctly the views from the terrace were gorgeous!
We were there during Autumn, when most of the trees had lost their leaves and everything was barren, but inside the mansion it was decorated for the holidays, which was beautiful in it's own way.

Thanks for 'taking me back' through your photos.


DesertHen said...

What a great place to spend one's
9th birthday! The history of the home is so interesting. Thank you for taking us along on a great tour!