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The Largest Private Home in America

July 19, 2016

Our next stop on the trip – Biltmore Estate – the largest private home in America.

Unlike the other members of the Vanderbilt family who built summer homes in the Northeast, George Vanderbuilt chose Asheville in western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge mountains. Built between 1889-1895, it is a 250 room French Renaissance chateau.



The original model for the estate


The rooftop view


The front entrance showcasing the elaborate spiral staircase



The interior view of the spiral staircase, with the chandelier that runs the height of the stairs



Edith Vanderbilt

Edith Vanderbilt
Although the home looks like it is stone, it is a limestone facade built over a structure made of brick and steel I-beams. This, along with brick fire doors, made the building very fire proof. This construction was one of the reasons it was used to store pictures from the National Gallery during World War II. This photo from the attic shows the construction.




Main dining room


Always nice to have a bowling alley in the house…


…and a swimming pool.


Fleur-de-Lis architectural detail


One of the many grotesques that adorn Biltmore


The Vanderbilt initials on the roof. The roof is copper and was originally covered with gold leaf. The leaf has since worn away and isn’t practical to replace.


From → Photography

  1. Fab photos Andy and thanks for the info! Now, the spiral staircase from the outside looks very similar to the one found at the Chateau de Blois in France, which we visited some 10 years ago now. Wonder if your house was somewhat modeled on the french example?


    • Yes, it was in fact! Vanderbilt and his architect traveled in Europe and were inspired by several estates.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on bazibukatende.


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