Insider Guide to America’s largest home – Biltmore Estate Asheville

The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is the living definition of a historic mansion. With the title still holding at 175,000 square feet, it deserves the title of the “America’s largest home”. There are 1.7 million visitors to the site each year, making it one of western North Carolina’s largest companies.

The estate, built between 1889 and 1895 by a descendant of the Vanderbilt family, has 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, and a swimming pool.

Construction of the Biltmore Estate

The house’s construction began in 1889. A woodworking plant and a brick kiln capable of producing 32,000 bricks a day were erected on-site to support such a massive undertaking. To help with delivery, a three-mile railroad spur was built to the construction site. In 1896, the house was completed.

Mr Hunt, the architect, had been employed to oversee every element of construction and accompany Mr. Vanderbilt on his travels to gather artifacts, sculptures and other household items.
There are significant parallels between the final home design and the French Renaissance-style chateaux of Blois, Chantilly, and Chambord.

Woodworking and brick kilns capable of producing 32,000 bricks per day were built on the property in order to meet the demands of such a large project.

The Road to the Biltmore Estate

It was also critical to Olmstead’s landscape planning to consider how guests would get to the house. Olmstead ordered foliage and shrubs on both sides of the approach road to remain thick and uncultivated appearing. For the house’s immediate vicinity, Olmstead incorporated Mr. Vanderbilt’s landscaping preferences.

Biltmore’s gardens surround

The additional 8,000 acres of the surrounding land were always intended to be self-sustaining, and they are now achieving exactly that.

The Biltmore Estates Village

The goal of George Vanderbilt’s agricultural farm was self-sufficiency.

Rental cottages, a chapel, a post office, and stores would be located there. Finally, a doctor’s office and a school for the area’s children were established in the village as well.

Fun Facts about the Biltmore


During George Vanderbilt’s lifetime, the land of Biltmore Estate was around 125,000 acres, which included property that was ultimately sold to the federal government to construct Pisgah National Forest, one of the first national forests east of the Mississippi.

George Vanderbilt was born in New York in 1862 on Staten Island. He was the grandson of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Biltmore House was created by architect Richard Morris Hunt and is America’s Largest Home® with a floor area of 175,000 square feet, or more than four acres. There are 35 bedrooms, 43 baths, and 65 fireplaces throughout the 250-room French Renaissance château.

The mansion has appeared in a number of films, including “The Swan,” “Richie Rich,” and “Being There,” starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine.

Artwork on display are works by Renoir, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Albrecht Durer hang on its walls.

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