The history of Biltmore Estate started in 1862 with the birth of George Vanderbilt in Staten Island.
As a grandson of famous industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt, The Vanderbilt’s where among Americas best known Families.
When George visited Asheville, N.C. in 1888 the Vanderbilt Imagination was sparked and he found the perfect location for his country home.
And in 1889 the Biltmore Estate was born and construction begins. It took 6 years and the result was 250 room French Renaissance chateaus the largest residential architecture.
And the Vanderbilt officially opens Biltmore to Friends and Family and the finished home has over 4 acres of floor space including 35 bedrooms and 43 Bathrooms and 65 Fireplaces.
How the whole thing get started?
In 1898 George Vanderbilt marries Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in Paris. Edith is a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, The first governor of Dutch colonial New York.
After honeymooning in Italy they went to live at the Biltmore. And then in 1900 George and Edith had a child born in the evening of August 22 in The Loui XV Room and was a girl her name Cornelia Vanderbilt.
Main dairy and Horse Barn construction Begins. The Horse barn is a thriving social and work center for the families who farmed there and the agricultural heart of the Estate.
George Vanderbilt passes away in 1914 at the age of 51 and was buried in the Vanderbilt Mausoleum on Staten Island.
He left an enormous philanthropic legacy. Edith sells approximately 87,000 acres of the estate to the United States Forest Service for less than $5 an acre.
Cornelia Vanderbilt the daughter of George and Edith gets married to the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil. A respected British Diplomat, They married at All Souls Church in Biltmore Village.
And in 1925 they had their first son, George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil, is born at the estate. In 1928 they had their second son, William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil born in the Louis XV room where she herself was born.
In 1930 Cornelia and John Cecil open the Biltmore house to the public.
The leaders in Asheville hope the celebrated house will increase tourism during the depression.
In 1942, they stored art during WWII They stored priceless works from the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
William Cecil left his career in 1960 and joined his Brother managing the estate, Focusing on self-sufficiency and preserving the estate’s historic splendor.
In 1971 William Cecil went to France to brings back sixth generation wine master Philippe Jourdain to be Biltmore’s first wine maker. And they plant their first vines at Biltmore.
In 1983 the Biltmore Estate wine company is established. The winery opens to guests in 1985.
The Inn on Biltmore Estate opens in 2001 So guests can enjoy the Vanderbilt hospitality. It was the plan from the beginning in 1900 “Couple years late”
Then in 2010 they open new area to add to the Biltmore’s for Entertainment and hospitality with shopping and dining and outdoor activities.
And a village Hotel added to Biltmore Estate to serve more overnight guests.
Take a closer look at the art by Pierre-Augusta Renoir and John Singer Sargent. With a library of 10,000 volumes.
And Banquet Hall with 70-foot ceiling and an indoor pool and a bowling alley.
Almost all the priceless things you see in the house are from George and Edith Vanderbilt collection. The self-guided visit is included in estate admission.
An in-depth audio guide and guided specialty tours are also available at additional cost. Learn more
There are acres of formal and informal gardens designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.
From the beauty of the Italian Garden to the breathtaking trees in America’s first managed forest, Biltmore’s lush landscape is a living tribute to Olmsted’s genius.
They are involved in conservation (and, more recently, for sustainability, thanks to six acres of solar panels), Biltmore continues to honor Vanderbilt’s legacy of environmental protection.
You can Hike the grounds of the estate at your pace with their network of trails.
Walk along the French Broad River through the forest or the open Meadows of Deer Park.
Contact the Biltmore estate for more information if you wish to visit.
One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803