The Biltmore Estate: The Largest Home In America

1054 words - 5 pages

The Biltmore Estate is located in Asheville, North Carolina. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States. It was privately owned by George Washington Vanderbilt and his family. The house was designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the landscape. The Biltmore Estate had a major role in the development of the creative architecture of the era and is well known for being America's largest home.

The Biltmore Estate was built from 1889 and 1895. It cost about $10,000,000 to build. The Biltmore Estate was built on 125,000 acres of land. It had a total of 250 rooms. Included in these rooms is a swimming pool and a bowling alley. In the Biltmore Estate, there are 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The house itself covers 4 acres land. The house possesses features such as electric lighting, telephones and an elevator.

The Vanderbilts were an extremely wealthy family of the time. George W. Vanderbilt grew up in one of the richest families in the United States. George Washington Vanderbilt was born in 1862. He was one of eight children. He attended the Columbia University at the age of sixteen. He originally purchased the land for his mother, who was often sick. He had never intended for the house to be open to the public.

Frederick Law Olmsted was the main architect of the Biltmore Estate. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1822. He is also the designer of Stanford University, grounds of the U.S. capitol, Central Park, and Niagara Falls State Reserve. Olmsted did not attend college. In 1895 he suffered a mental breakdown and spent the rest of his life in an Asylum in Waverly Massachusetts. Olmsted died in August 1903. The Biltmore Estate was the last project he ever did. He died on August 28, 1903.

Richard Morris Hunt was the landscape designer of the Biltmore Estate. He was born on October 31, 1827. He was the main architect for the All Souls Episcopal Cathedral in Asheville, North Carolina. Hunt had known the Vanderbilt’s as a neighbor on Staten Island. While the Biltmore was being built, Hunt was assisted by his son, Richard Howland Hunt. After Hunt died in July 31, 1895, his son continued his work on the Biltmore Estate, even though it was essentially finished. The center of the Biltmore Village was the All Souls Episcopal Cathedral. This was one of Hunt’s favorite, but least known works. Today, full-height portraits of Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted, the great designers, hang in the Biltmore.

The Biltmore Estate had a major role in the development of the creative architecture of the era. The Biltmore had features and materials that were new and of the best quality of the time period. Some of the things in the house that were unique at the time were electric lighting, telephones, and an elevator. The stone used in the construction of the Biltmore was very popular and expensive at the time. It was mined in Indiana. Since the Biltmore included such new amenities, the...

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