The Biltmore Estate represents the finest architecture, construction, and materials available in the late nineteenth century. The famous house was built by George Vanderbilt, grandson of Corneluis Vanderbilt. George inherited money from Cornelius, a pioneer in the railroad industry (Hudson et al. 113).
Cornelius Vanderbilt gained much of his wealth and prominence through hard work in the railroad and shipping industries (Cohen n. pag). BY the time he died, his railroad company he owned was worth well over one-hundred fifty million dollars. Most of his estate was left to his son William, George’s father ("Vanderbilt, Cornelius [1794-1877]" n. pag). While in control of the Vanderbilt fortune, William doubled the size (The Vanderbilt Family n. pag). George eventually inherited the fortune and built the Biltmore Estate. Most of the Vanderbilt family was interested in commerce and fashion, however, George was not. He was interested most in traveling the world. He fell in love with the North Carolina mountains as a young child. Even though he eventually built his home here, he continued to take annual trips to Europe, Africa, and Asia (The Vanderbilt Family n. pag).
The architect of the Biltmore House, Richard Morris Hunt, was one of the finest designers of his time. He studied design in Europe from 1843 to 1854. While there, he became the first American to attend the world renowned design school the École des Beaux-Arts. Some of his well known designs include: the Lenox Library, the Administration Building for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1883, the Marble house, the Breakers, the Fifth Avenue façade and Fifth Hall, and the base of the Statue of Liberty (Zanten n. pag). He incorporated parts of all of these designs into the construction of the Biltmore House.
Construction of the Biltmore House took over six years (Our Story n. pag). The final size of the house is over four acres of floor space, 250 rooms— including: forty three bathrooms,...
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