Photo 1 out of 18 picturing Biltmore Estate
1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
Interior, exterior and aerial photos page: 1
This is the largest house in the United States. This luxury estate is a privately owned historic mansion and has 135,280 square feet of living area with 178,926 total floor space. Currently this house is used as a residence, attraction, bed and breakfast. You can find out booking information by clicking the more information button.
Biltmore Estate is a very large (8,000 acre) private luxury estate and tourist attraction in Asheville, North Carolina. Biltmore House, the main house on the estate, is a Chateauesque-styled mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895 and is the largest privately owned house in the United States, at 178,926 square feet of floor space (135,280 square feet of living area). Still owned by one of Vanderbilt’s descendants, it stands today as one of the most prominent remaining examples of the Gilded Age. In 2007, it was ranked eighth in America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.
Vanderbilt commissioned prominent New York architect Richard Morris Hunt, who had previously designed houses for various Vanderbilt family members, to design the house in the Châteauesque style, using French Renaissance chateaus that Vanderbilt and Hunt had visited in early 1889, including Château de Blois, Chenonceau and Chambord in France and Waddesdon Manor in England, as inspiration with their steeply pitched roofs, turrets and sculptural ornamentation. In 1901, to help provide local employment, the Vanderbilts started Biltmore Industries, which made furniture modeled after the furnishings of the estate.
In the 1880s, at the height of the Gilded Age, George Washington Vanderbilt, youngest son of William Henry Vanderbilt, began to make regular visits with his mother, Maria Louisa Kissam Vanderbilt, to the Asheville, North Carolina, area. Vanderbilt named his estate Biltmore derived from “Bildt”, Vanderbilt’s ancestors’ place of origin in Holland, and “More”, Anglo-Saxon for open, rolling land. George Vanderbilt opened his opulent estate on Christmas Eve 1895 to invited family and friends from across the country, who were encouraged to enjoy leisure and country pursuits. George married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in 1898 in Paris, France; their only child, Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt, was born at Biltmore in the Louis XV room in 1900, and grew up at the estate. Driven by the impact of the newly imposed income taxes, and the fact that the estate was getting harder to manage economically, Vanderbilt initiated the sale of 87,000 acres to the federal government. David Finley, the gallery director, was a friend of Edith Vanderbilt and had stayed at the estate.”