Locations: Step into the Gilded AgeDestinations: Step into the Gilded Age – AOPA Pilot

1July 2020

Biltmore Home in Western North Carolina is the biggest privately owned home in the United States. It has 250 rooms, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 4 floors, a rooftop observatory, and a swimming pool in the basement– which’s simply the highlights.

George Washington Vanderbilt II was the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and he spent his large inheritance structure Biltmore House on 125,000 acres in Asheville, North Carolina. He began the project in 1889 at the age of 25, employing the skill of popular designer Richard Morris Hunt. The pair– along with landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted– would change the little town of Asheville, employing more than 1,000 locals and even creating a three-mile spur off the railway to bring in products. Because your house has existed as a museum open to the general public considering that 1930, its history is recorded throughout the 178,926-square-foot structure for visitors to marvel, discover, and take in.

You can take assisted tours or tour by yourself; the staff recommend you plan for at least two hours. They need to have been on speed trials. No other way can you survive this incredible location in two hours. For one, the basement alone is enormous and so interesting. In addition to kitchens and servant quarters there is the 70,000-gallon swimming pool, bowling street, and then-state-of-the-art health club. You’ll get lost here quickly.

On the main flooring is the grand staircase. It has 107 steps and climbs circularly up four stories, overlooking the 70-foot-high banquet hall and looking down on the many spaces. The fourth-floor roof is where Vanderbilt might look out at the rolling hills of his estate. There are 2 elevators, among the lots of technological advances in your house. It had electricity, which Vanderbilt’s pal Thomas Edison set up.

Vanderbilt nearly invested his fortune on the estate, specifically on his journeys to Europe with Hunt to furnish and decorate the house. Vanderbilt brought home Napoleon’s chess set and gaming table, Flemish tapestries from the Middle Ages, Ming Dynasty bowls, and 24,000 volumes of books. The paintings are art gallery-worthy, from Renoir to Whistler to Sargent. Vanderbilt only enjoyed his home for 25 years; he passed away at age 52. But his children and grandchildren have actually kept the house in stunning condition and continue to welcome visitors.

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