Asheville, NC

This NC 19th Century House Is the Largest in America and You Can Visit It

Diana Rus
Biltmore EstatePhoto byBiltmore Estate/Wikipedia

The Biltmore Estate is a historic house museum and tourist destination in Asheville, North Carolina.

The main residence, Biltmore Property (or Biltmore Mansion), is a Châteauesque-style mansion built between 1889 and 1895 for George Washington Vanderbilt II and is the largest privately owned house in the United States, with 178,926 square feet of floor space.

The Biltmore Estate is one of the most renowned examples of Gilded Age homes, held by George Vanderbilt's family.


Biltmore, George Vanderbilt's 8,000-acre estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, was founded in 1895.

The construction of the Biltmore House began in 1889. George Vanderbilt's 250-room French Renaissance château is a real masterpiece, the country's greatest residential architecture project. Over the course of six years, a whole community of craftsmen worked together to build America's premier house, as well as the breathtaking gardens and grounds that surround it.

The French Broad River divides the estate in half today, covering around 8,000 acres. The estate is managed by The Biltmore Company, a trust established by the family. The firm is a huge corporation that employs many people in the Asheville region.

Restaurants opened in 1979 and 1987, and four gift stores opened in 1993. In 1985, the original dairy barn was turned into the Biltmore Winery.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate, a 210-room luxury hotel, was inaugurated in 2001. Antler Hill Village, which has gift stores and restaurants, as well as a restored winery and linked farmyard, opened in 2010. The Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, a more informal alternative to The Inn with 209 rooms, opened in Antler Hill Village in 2015.
Biltmore Estate Home Twilight ReflectionPhoto byBiltmore Estate Home Twilight Reflection/ Wikipedia Commons

Visit Biltmore Estate

Biltmore is a one-of-a-kind resort set on 8,000 acres of natural Blue Ridge Mountain splendor. From the beautiful house, orchid-filled Conservatory, spectacular art exhibition, and award-winning Winery to a plethora of eating and retail establishments, 20+ miles of nature trails, and distinctive overnight lodgings, Biltmore provides an unparalleled retreat from everyday life.

Online adult daytime ticket to Biltmore House starts at $69 per person. Prices vary depending on the day and season. The price for children aged 10 to 16 is reduced. For children under the age of 9 are free.

Visitors can spend the night at the Village Hotel, at the Inn, or in the cottages available on Biltmore Estate.
Biltmore Estate view from Walled GardenPhoto byBiltmore Estate view from Walled Garden/Wikipedia Commons


Construction of Biltmore Estate

George Washington Vanderbilt is born on Staten Island in 1862. George Vanderbilt is the grandson of Cornelius "the Commodore" Vanderbilt, a famed shipping entrepreneur, and industrialist.

The first time George Vanderbilt came to Asheville, North Carolina, was in 1888.

George Vanderbilt is captivated by the Blue Ridge Mountains and is considering building a new country house there. Soon after, he starts buying land for the future site of Biltmore. He employs Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds and gardens, and Richard Morris Hunt to design and construct the house.
The Biltmore Estate c. 1900Photo byBiltmore Estate/Wikipedia

The Biltmore House's construction began in 1889.

The Biltmore estate is formally opened to family and guests in 1895 by George Vanderbilt.

The rural getaway George Vanderbilt has spent so much time constructing is beautifully decked out and festive on Christmas Eve. The house has 65 fireplaces, 35 bedrooms, and 43 bathrooms spread across more than four acres of floor space.

In 1898, George Vanderbilt marries Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in Paris. In 1900, Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt is born at Biltmore.

Construction of the Main Dairy and Horse Barn began in 1900.
Waddesdon ManorPhoto byBiltmore Estate/Wikipedia

George Vanderbilt dies in 1914 at the age of 51.

The Vanderbilt family mausoleum on Staten Island is where George Vanderbilt is buried. He leaves a philanthropic legacy that Edith continues by selling around 87,000 acres of the estate to the US Forest Service for less than $5 per acre. One of the first national forests east of the Mississippi River was the Pisgah National Forest, which includes the Cradle of Forestry.

Cornelia Vanderbilt married John Francis Amherst Cecil in 1924. They had 2 children.

Cornelia and John Cecil opened Biltmore House to the public in 1930. During the Great Depression, the Cecils respond to efforts to enhance regional tourism and produce income to maintain the estate.
Master bedroom of George VanderbiltPhoto byBiltmore Estate/Wikipedia

During World War II, Biltmore House began storing paintings in 1942.

During the WWII, the mansion houses precious artwork from Washington, DC's National Gallery of Art.

Biltmore is officially nominated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963. The original landmark designation had the "Conservation of Natural Resources" as its core theme.

In 1983, The Biltmore Estate Wine Company is established. In 1985, Biltmore’s Winery opens to the public.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate opens in 2001. The Market Gardener's Cottage, the first of Biltmore Estate's Cottages, opens to overnight visitors in 2005.

Antler Hill Village opens in 2010. With an exhibition space and new choices for shopping, dining, and outdoor activities, Antler Hill Village extends Biltmore's tradition of entertainment and hospitality to a new generation.
Part of Biltmore Estate's gardensPhoto byBiltmore Estate/Wikipedia

The Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate opens in 2015.

In Antler Hill Village, a modest hotel was built to accommodate more overnight visitors who want to enjoy Vanderbilt-inspired hospitality.

The Dairy Foreman's Cottage, the second of Biltmore Estate's Cottages, opened in 2021. This simple cottage tucked away in the woods behind Biltmore's four-star Inn, is the latest historic structure redesigned to provide guests with a private haven of service, elegance, and charm.

The Line House Cottages, part of the Cottages on Biltmore Estate, opened in 2022. These charming historic homes not only transport tourists back to the Vanderbilt era but also provide a unique view into the estate's agricultural background.
Biltmore EstatePhoto byBiltmore Estate/ Wikipedia Commons


Comments / 1

Published by

Passionate writer of interesting facts, history, and important events/places from the United States and around the world.


More from Diana Rus

Comments / 0