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Gate lodge under construction c 1896.jpg (125372 bytes)  The gate lodge under construction in 1896. Gate house.jpg (128400 bytes)  The gate lodge as it appears today.
Esplanade under construction c 1892.jpg (73196 bytes)  Here you see the ramble, esplanade, and site of the main house under construction in late 1891 or early 1892.   Bowling green retaining wall c 1890.jpg (105770 bytes)  Workers toil on the base of the huge retaining wall that will eventually hold the bowling green circa 1891.
Construction 1894.jpg (27729 bytes)  The house rises rapidly in the flurry of construction during 1894 and 1895.  This photo shows the roofline starting to take shape March 10th 1894.   LOUIS 15TH ROOM.JPG (63731 bytes)  After years of construction the carefully selected furniture is placed by George himself.  This is the Louis 16th room, one of 32 guest bedrooms.    
TAPESTRY GALLERY.JPG (138498 bytes)  Here is a 1940s photo of the tapestry gallery. LIBRARY.JPG (63174 bytes)  Incomparable library.  This room contains 10,000 volumes.  Due to the walnut for the paneling arriving late and green the space was not finished until 1896.   
BILTMORE 1940.JPG (79719 bytes)  A view to the North taken around 1940.   BREAKFAST ROOM.JPG (108762 bytes)  Another 1940s view this time showing the breakfast room.  The leather walls and family portraits provide a fine setting for the circa 1860 dining table. 
BANQUET HALL COLOR.JPG (69298 bytes)  The main banquet hall 72 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 70 feet high!   BILLARD ROOM AS A DEN.JPG (85273 bytes)  In the late 1940s and early 1950s John Cecil lived above the billiard room.  So this room was remade as a den for him to enjoy after tours ended.  Here is a view of the billiard room in that role.  One wonders where the custom made 2,500 pound tables went?
BARKER HOSPITAL.JPG (61545 bytes)  The village had its own hospital named after George's cousin.  Charles Barker who died at Biltmore in 1896.   Western facade and lagoon c 1900.jpg (43348 bytes)  The western facade of the home with the lagoon in the foreground.  The lagoon was completed in 1898 at a cost of over $250,000.  
Gardners cottage and walled garden fall 1892.jpg (127050 bytes)  The gardeners cottage was the first building completed on site in the fall of 1892.  You can see the walls of the main house rising in what would become George's private den in the background.   Walled garden underconstruction c 1892.jpg (101093 bytes)  The walled garden under construction circa 1892.  
Pergoal in the walled garden.jpg (103676 bytes)  The arbor under construction. Pergola with Cedric c. 1900.jpg (95748 bytes)  The pergola finished, with George's saint braynard Cedric in the foreground on the right.  
FRONT DOOR FROM THE ITALIAN GARDENS 1930.JPG (64004 bytes)    A view of the home looking towards the entrance tower.   Front door and south wing c 1895.jpg (92477 bytes)  A photograph of the entrance tower circa 1900. 
chairs on the bowling green with unique sun shade.jpg (90020 bytes)  A shaded bench on the bowling green circa 1895.   Tea room c 1895.jpg (57902 bytes)  The tea house showing the sun shades which are gone today.  
WATER SUPPLY.JPG (87645 bytes)  The collecting tank for the estates water supply.  This huge tank is above the house thus water after passing through several sand filters entered the home with enough pressure to reach the 4th floor.  Today the estate is on Asheville city water, however the original system does work and could be turned on again if needed.   Esplanade north side 1895.jpg (60775 bytes)  The northern side of the esplanade circa 1900.  
BUCKSPRING LODGE.JPG (59287 bytes)  Buckspring lodge, George's hunting lodge on Pisgah mountain.  This rustic lodge built in 1900 was demolished in 1960.   647 5th.gif (105461 bytes)  647 5th avenue New York.  This home one of two was built by George Vanderbilt across the street from his block long mansion.  Called the marble twins Cartia is the owner of the remaining building now.  Each Christmas they wrap the entire structure with a giant Christmas bow. 
Brick farm 1898.jpg (78152 bytes)  Brick farm completed in 1898, was the center of the estate farming operations.   Brick Farm.jpg (74159 bytes)  Part of the Brick farm as it is today.  Currently this facility is slated for restoration.  
ALL SOULS CHURCH.JPG (50173 bytes)  All Souls Episcopal church.  This amazing cathedral is seat for the Western North Carolina diocese.  This church was completed in 1896.   walled garden.jpg (62716 bytes)  The walled garden as it appears today.  
Stables.jpg (81687 bytes)  The bachelors quarters over the stables.  It was here that George spent his first nights in the home since the paneling in his master bedroom was not completed until 1896.  Slate stair case.jpg (109965 bytes)  Looking over the kitchen courtyard you can see 2 additions to the home.  The slate covered stair case and hallway were added using leftover roofing slate in 1897.  The wooden addition 2 floors up to the right is a sun room added in the 1920s (The window unit air conditioner might help you find the room).  This sun room is currently slated for removal in keeping with the concept of maintaining the home in its 1895 configuration.  
GV logo on the rige cap.jpg (59281 bytes)  The hand hammered French copper roof ridge. You can see the alternating acorns and intertwined "G V".  Acorns were part of the Vanderbilt family heraldic device.  All the raised lettering and acorn work was original gold leafed.  You can still see traces of this gold work on the roof top tour today.   Felix.jpg (139967 bytes)  Your author standing by one of two 13th century life size Italian marble lions that guard the entrance to the home.   



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Some photos on this page are to be credited to the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division and have been published by permission.  All other images are the authors collection. 

Copyright 2002  by Brian Hawley.  All materials published here are from the Brian Hawley collection unless otherwise noted. This site and its related contents are published strictly for educational purposes.  Do not steal the images from this site for your own web projects!  If you ask nicely I will be glad to share images as long as proper credit is given.