9 Amazing Secrets & Factoids of the Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore in Asheville North Carolina. This is one of the finest examples of the Victorian Era in America the 250-room Biltmore House – America’s largest private home – and magnificent 100-year-old gardens situated on an 8,000-acre estate.

Biltmore’s Massive Front Door

#1 – George Vanderbilt started acquiring land for Biltmore in 1888 in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

Front Entryway and Foyer

#2 – The following year construction begins on the 250-room French Renaissance chateau It takes six-years and 1000’s of craftsmen to make America’s largest project in residential architecture.

Biltmore Atrium

#3 – On Christmas Eve of 1895, the home is officially opened. The finished home contains over four acres of floor space, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.

Billiard and Game Room

#4 – Three years later George Vanderbilt marries Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in Paris France. In 1900 they welcome the couples only child Cornelia Vanderbilt is born on the evening of August 22 in the Louis XV Room.

Great Dining from Butler Entry

#5 – Tragically in 1914, George Vanderbilt passes away at the age of 51 after complications from appendectomy surgery.

The Flemish Tapestry Room – Thumbwind Publications

#6 – 24-year-old Cornelia Vanderbilt marries the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil in 1924. They have two children George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil and William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil. Both children are born in the Louis XV Room, the same room where Cornelia was born.

Edith Stuyvesant Dresser Vanderbilt’s Bedroom – Thumbwind Publications

#7 – In 1930, the Biltmore House to the public to help the local Asheville economy with tourism during the Depression, and to generate income to preserve the estate.

Biltmore’s Vast Kitchen was state-of-the-art in the 1900s – Thumbwind Publications

#8 – In 1942 the Biltmore House is pressed into secret service during World War II. Biltmore stores priceless works from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. 62 paintings and 17 sculptures were delivered to Biltmore by train in a January 1942 snowstorm. The works included works by Anthony van Dyck, Rembrandt, Raphael, and Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington portrait. They stayed secured at the estate until 1944.

Sitting Room

#9 – The Biltmore’s basement and some areas of the house contain hidden doors, passageways and rooms.

Biltmore’s Basement Passageway – cThumbwind Publications

#10 – The Biltmore has the first private bowling alley. All built by a new company called Brunswick.

Biltmore Bowling Alley – cThumbwind Publications

The Biltmore is America’s Grand Estate. The house and grounds and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963. It’s one of the largest tourist attractions in North Carolina, with 1.4 million visitors each year.

Biltmore Estate Front View

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