A Day at Biltmore House
May 19, 2008 8:06pm CST
Building Biltmore was a 6 year project. An entire community, of craftsmen, came in on railroad cars to build the largest house in America. Mr. Vanderbilt had his own brick factory and wood working shop. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect of the house. The house was modeled after the 16th century France. The house has 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 24 bedrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement alone has a lighted indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, changing rooms, a two lane bowling alley, servants' quarters, 2 kitchens, and more to see. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the 125,000 acres on the ground. Frederick created Central Park in New York and was the founder of American landscape archituecture. He also started America's first managed forest, to protect the environment. George Vanderbilt opened the house on Christmas eve 1895. This was his country retreat. He had a passion for art, literature, and horticulture. George Vanderbilt married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in 1898. George brought his bride to live with him at his home. They had one child, Cornelia. She was born and raised at Biltmore. Edith Stuyvesant Dresser (1873-1958) Cornelia (1900-1976) In 1963 William A.V. Cecil began to transform the Biltmore house into a tourist attraction. It is now the most visited tourist attraction in the country. The Biltmore Estate employs most of Asheville's residents. Original arts line the rooms of the house. Art from Renoir, 16th century tapestries, 40 bronze statues, Napolean's chess set, and the library holds over 10,000 books. The house is layered with art, history, and luxury in every room. There is a 70 foot ceiling in the banquet hall. It is relaxing, as you walk through the house. Mr. Cecil has tried to make everyone feel welcome, as they tour the houes. Photos' of his family are displayed in the Second Floor Living Hall. Audio tours are available for your first visit to the Estate. Whether you are looking for elaborate dining or casual dining, Biltmore has choices for you. The Arbor Grill, Bake Shop, Ice Cream Parlor, Creamery Grill are located in the Old Stable area. The Bistro, Deerpark Restuarant, and the Dining room are all located at the Inn At Biltmore Estates. The chefs at Biltmore try to use the products that are grown at the Biltmore Estates. Produce is grown in the gardens at the Estate. Cattle and lambs are also raised on the Estate. There is a camp ground on the the Estate. You can enjoy hiking, biking, horse-back riding, and river running on the grounds. You can take a class in the off-highway driving school while visiting the Estate. The Land Roving Driving School teaches the fundamentals of four wheeling on their off-road course. Admission price 9 and younger is free through the year. Ages 10-18 admitted free January and February. It is $29.00 for adults. http://www.willowwinds.com/biltmore-estate-guidehtm biltmore.com 1-877-Biltmore The Biltmore Estate is a breath taking sight to see. While you drive through the Entrance, you are welcomed by a stream to the right of you. The water flows beautifully down the stream. The trees' loom over the entrance of the Estate. The information center is to the left of the entrance. In the information center, there is a film that you can view before going up to the house. You can buy your ticket here to visit the house or purchase tickets for a private carriage ride. Their are several package rates available. The parking lot is to the right of the Entrance. A bus picks you up and drops you off at the front door of the Estate. You can walk from the parking lot to view the beautiful wooded scenery, if you do not want to ride the bus. When you enter the black iron gate, a Gazebo sits on top of a hill to the left. The middle of the Biltmore yard is beautifully landscaped. The house is full of history and heritage. The Winter Garden is beautifully lit by a gorgeous overhead window. The winter garden has live plants from one of the 5 gardens on the Estate. The feature of this area is the "Boy steeling geese sculpture."The Library is so gorgeous. The painting of "Chariot of Aurora" views down from the ceiling. Books line the walls from the floor to the ceiling. Volumes and volumes of books with titles of Scupturing, Paris, Spain, etc. have been used for generations in this room. Giant fieplaces warmed the house many years ago, as the family sat in the formal living rooms on all of the four floors. The Pipe Organ was played at different times. Formal dining rooms are located all over the house. The tapestries and gorgeous rugs accent the China patterns on the oversized tables. Husbands and wives did not sleep together in the 1800's. Mr. Vanderbilt's room was lined in gold. The portuguese walnut furniture is very beautifully designed. Mrs. Vanderbilt's room was also gorgeous. With purple and gold filled bed linens. The room is a sight to behold. Gold curtains and walls line the room. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilts Oak sitting room was a place for the couple to relax and get away by themselves for a while. The Mountain view is beautiful, as you look out over the Estate. To the left of the house is a flower garden. Flowers line the garden, as the gardeners work on weeding the garden. This is such a beautiful place to see. Words cannot describe all there is to see here. I hope that you take a day or two to come and visit Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C.