Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Biltmore Confidential

The Biltmore House: The Gilded Age Home of George and Edith Vanderbilt
(Click image to enlarge)

Today's portion of the trip is brought to you by the Vanderbilt Family and the Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina. The use of the word "house" to describe this building is a laugh. The "house" is actually a castle and was built by George Washington Vanderbilt between 1888 and 1895. It contains what, at that time, were considered state of the art conveniences, like indoor plumbing. While most homes in America in 1895 didn't have indoor bathrooms, the Biltmore had 43 of them with deep cast iron tubs and flushing toilets.

The house contains 250 rooms and is the largest private residence in the United States to this day with 175,000 square feet and 8,000 acres of land. It is still owned by the Vanderbilt family and employs 1,800 individuals to maintain and show the home. Occasionally, the descendants of the Vanderbilts stay in the castle. The home is one of the finest examples of Gilded Age architecture in the U.S. and contains a 10,000 book library and fine art, including 16th century Flemish tapestries, woodcuts by Renoir, portraits by John Singer Sargent, a 1916 Skinner organ in the dining hall, and handloomed Jacquard wall coverings and draperies from Lyon, France.

Springtime means flowers and the gardens at the Biltmore are spectacular!
(Click image to enlarge.)

This time of year also features the Biltmore's annual Spring Flower Festival and the tulips were in glorious bloom all over. Definitely worth the price of admission to visit this beautiful home and its gardens.

Photo copyright: Janet Kincaid, 04/09


marley said...

Yeah, just a little house! Lol! Looks like a fantastic place to visit, and the tulips - wow! especially the black(?) ones.

Cele said...

Tulips are one of my husband's favorite flowers (right next to petunias) I plant dozens each year, but no where come close to this beauty.

I look at a castle like that and just think of all the cleaning it would take. oy.

Maya said...

All great shots, but I think I like that dark tulip reaching for the sky one the best!

D.C. Confidential / Janet Kincaid said...

Marley: I think the correct term is "cottage." Ha! Aren't the black tulips something?

Cele: Tulips are lovely. I wish they stayed in bloom all spring, but then we might not appreciate them as much, eh?

Maya: Thank you! The sky-reaching tulips are quirky, but I like them, too.

Arlene said...

What's this? You are on the road again? Do I recall you missed Utah last time? Are you popping in this time?

Janet Kincaid said...

Hi Bee! Yep, I'm on the road again. This time, I'm traveling through the U.S. South. I likely won't be passing through Utah yet again. I'm trying to hit states and/or see things I've never seen before. But, never fear: I'm sure I'll be in Utah in the next few months!