The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, was built in the late 1800s by George Vanderbilt. Overall, it took six years to complete the 250-room mansion, with a floor area of nearly four acres.
Biltmore features 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, 34 bedrooms, an indoor pool, a 10,000 volume library and an extensive art and antique collection.
Originally, it sat on 125,000 acres of land, but the U.S. Forest Service bought some 87,000 acres in 1914. Today, Biltmore is still considered the largest private residence in the United States.
Biltmore is a popular tourist destination that boasted over one million tourists by the early 21st century. It remains yet another piece of rich history that helps boost the economy of the Appalachian region, and keeps Asheville a known spot on the map.
Vanderbilt not only created a nationally syndicated landmark for the Appalachian community, but also created new opportunities for educational and religious institutions. His philanthropic efforts even resulted in the naming of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee after him.
George Vanderbilt’s story models the essence of Appalachia: working hard for what you have and always lending a helping hand. Today, when visiting the Biltmore Estate, attendees can see the Appalachian dream come to fruition.
Thank you to this Appalachian gem: the Biltmore Estate.