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Largest Home in the U.S.

Updated on August 23, 2012

Biltmore Estate - A site to see in North Carolina

The Biltmore Estate is located in Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate is located in Asheville, North Carolina | Source

Who Was George Vanderbilt?

George Vanderbilt III was the grandson of the Cornelius Vanderbilt, the industrialist tycoon.

As a boy, he loved to read books. In his teen age years, and throughout his life, he loved collecting books. He used part of his wealth for charity, including supporting many literacy initiaves.

Vanderbilt donated money to set up the first public libraries in the country, which eventually became part of the New York Public Library system. His legacy still exists in his home, called Biltmore, which houses his private collection of 23,000 volumes.

The Beauty of the Gardens

There are no cameras allowed inside the Biltmore home.
There are no cameras allowed inside the Biltmore home. | Source

A Lavish Home

His estate, known as Biltmore exists today as a place to learn about art, architecture, horticulture, science and many oher subjects to learn about.

Biltmore, located in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, was built in the 1895, during the Gilded Age. The lavish home is the largest private residence in the United States with 250 rooms, 125,000 acres of grounds, managed forests, and park lands.

Within the home there is 4 acres of floor space, 34 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms. There is a swimming pool, bowling alley, gymnasium, and several kitchens.

George Washington Vanderbilt had a vision to build a home that was beneficial to the surrounding area. Today it is a big tourist sight. The house was featured in movies like Forrest Gump, The Swan, Being There, The Last of the Mohicans and other such films.

Gardens at the Biltomore Estate

The beautiful gardens
The beautiful gardens | Source

The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate was built in 1895, and took 6 years to complete.
The Biltmore Estate was built in 1895, and took 6 years to complete. | Source

The Biltmore is Filled with Beautiful Architectural Details

The Biltmore was one of the first homes to ever use Thomas Edison’s light bulb.

While building the estate, an onsite brick factory and woodworking shop, and a railway to transport materials to the site were built on the property. Biltmore Village also was established, where the workers would live during the 6 years it took to build the estate.

Richard Morris was the architect who designed the home to look like a well known French chateau . Frederick Law Olmstead, the creator of Central Park in New York City handled the gardens. The Biltmore is filled with architectural details that illustrate the beauty and opulence of the time.

  • More than a million people visit Biltmore every year.
  • The home is 175,000 square feet, with 75 acres of landscaped gardens. .
  • The original estate was 125,000 acre, but is now 8,000 acres..
  • It took 6 years to build the estate.
  • The vineyards take up 94 acres and they sell 170,000 cased of wine each year. .
  • There are 250 rooms in the Biltmore Estate, with 35 bedrooms, and 43 bathrooms, 26 servant bedrooms, 65 fireplaces, 16 chimneys, 3 kitchens.
  • The banquet hall ceiling is seven stories high. The banquet hall table seated 64 people and is 40’ long
  • The library includes about 10,000 books.
  • There are 185 paintings in the Biltmore art collection.

View of the Biltmore Esplanade


The Biltmore Family Still Owns the Estate

The Biltmore Estate Winery mixes tradition of wine making with technology.

Today, the estate produces 75,000 cases of wine each year in about 15 varieties. Visitors can enjoy tours of the house, the gardens, rooftop tours, behind the scene tours, winery, and other type of tours. In the gardens, there are still some plants that exist from the time Biltmore was created in 1895.

The Vanderbilt’s bought the town next to their estate in 1889, where their employess lived. They renamed the town Biltmore Village. In the late 19th, the employees homes, had more than most people or the time with central heating and plumbing. In 1889, the Vanderbilt’s also created the Biltmore Forest School, which was dedicated to the scientific forestry.

George Vanderbilt owned many homes, but The Biltmore was his favorite.
In March 1914, George Vanderbilt died from appendicitis. His wife, Edith, sold 87,000 acres of land to the U.S. government, as per George’s desire to perserve the forest they owned. No one has lived in the house since the 1950’s.

The Vanderbilt family still owns the estate. Cornelia, the only child of Edith and George Vanderbilt had 2 sons, who still manage the estate and surrounding area.

The Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil opened the Biltmore Estate to the public in the i930’s to help spur tourism and generate revenue to keep the estate going during the time of the depression.

Biltmore Estate is located in Ashevile, North Carolina. If you are going to visit the estate, there is so much to do in the area, you might need 2 days.

The Biltmore Estate

Where Is Asheville, North Carolina

A markerbiltmore, nc -
Biltmore, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
get directions

A markerasheville, north carolina -
Asheville, NC, USA
get directions

Where is The Biltmore Estate?

A markerbiltmore estate north carolina -
Biltmore Estate Dr, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
get directions


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      While you have to wonder what in the world a person would do with all that space and why anyone could even imagine building a home that huge, the Biltmore is a wonderful legacy. I'd love to visit!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Angel, What a memory you have of visiting this house. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

    • tipstoretireearly profile image


      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the tour of this opulent estate. The gardens are beautiful.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Billy, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Keep on the look out for future installments of series like this.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Why no pics in the home?

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend, a very awesome hub about a very interesting and amazing home. This hub was a very fascinating read !

      Well done and vote up and more !!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Oh what a beautiful home this is and the gardens are stunning. Anyone who wanted to learn about architecture, art, plants and so on would surely be inspired by the surroundings. I have to say I don't mind folks that are rich. But when they also give so much back to a community it really warms my heart! What an enjoyable and awesome hub!

      This was a fascinating hub + voted up + shared!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Kristy, Maybe when you come to the states, it will tempt you to make a visit. Also, no pictures are allowed to be taken inside the home.

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 

      5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Excellent hub, it's a very interesting home! Those gardens look beautiful, shame there aren't more pictures!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Glad to help bring back memories. I would appreciate anything you can add from your visit.

    • sonnyhodgin profile image

      Sonny Hodgin 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      I visited the Biltmore Estate years ago. Then I forgot about it until just now when I read your hub. Thanks for the reminder!

    • angel115707 profile image

      Angel Ward 

      5 years ago from Galveston, TX

      I remember going there as a small child, 2 wild memories: 1.) I couldn't believe how they treated their servants, the bathrooms were rows of toilets with no privacy, while their bathrooms were fabulous, i just thought as a child, what a cruel way rich people think, 2.) I came down with a high fever as we walked in this endless castle, all the stairs, I didnt know if I was going up or down, felt like I was in one of Salvador Dali's paintings.... turned out I had 3 day measles, needless to say, will never forget that place.....

      voted up! Kinda think all Americans should visit it at least once, to get a perspective on who built this country... families like them!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Is this a new series you are going to do? If so it's very interesting. Not that I approve of that kind of lavish outpouring of cash for a home :) but it is still quite interesting and I'm sure will do well for views. Nice job!


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