Thursday, June 07, 2007

Vanderbilt´s Biltmore Estate

Biltmore is the largest privately-owned home in the United States, at 175,000 square feet. The house is a French Renaissance-inspired chateau near Asheville, North Carolina, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II (youngest son of William Henry Vanderbilt) between 1888 and 1895, he loved the scenery and climate so much that he decided to create his own summer estate in the area.
Still owned by Vanderbilt's descendants, it stands today as one of the most prominent remaining examples of the Gilded Age (a period when Vanderbilt men were the merchant princes of American life through their prominence in the business world and as patrons of the arts throughout the world). Famous guests through the years include author Edith Wharton, novelist Henry James, and Presidents McKinley, Wilson, Nixon, and George H.W. Bush. The estate today covers approximately 8,000 acres (32 km²) and is split in half by the French Broad River. It is owned by The Biltmore Company, which is controlled by Vanderbilt's great-grandson, William A.V. Cecil, II. In 1963, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Biltmore Estate ranked 8th in a 2007 poll by the American Institute of Architects of the top 150 favorite structures in the United States.

Biltmore Estate Official WebSite