Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate: 6 Years to Build, 43 Bathrooms 🤩 Aerial America | Smithsonian Channel

during America's Gilded Age Asheville

was also a popular getaway spot for

America's richest industrialists

including the Edison's Rockefellers and

Vanderbilt some of whom built country

homes here one of them is the largest

private house in the United States the

Biltmore Estate was constructed in the

1890s by 26 year-old George Washington

Vanderbilt grandson of Cornelius

Vanderbilt the famous New York railroad

tycoon with virtually unlimited

resources at his disposal

Vanderbilt's French Renaissance style

Estate took more than six years to build

and was such a massive undertaking it

required its own brick making factory

and a private railway for delivering

materials the finished 250 room mansion

has 34 bedrooms

and 43 bathrooms when it came to

designing the Biltmore's grounds George

Vanderbilt hired the best of the best

Frederick Olmsted the landscape

architect who created New York's Central

Park Olmsted designed formal gardens

close to the house but he also

regenerated forest areas around the

estate by transplanting trees and

encouraging new growth it was one of the

country's very first forest conservation


during the Great Depression Asheville's

tourist trade was in decline

so the Vanderbilt family agreed to open

the Biltmore for public tours today the

estate is visited by more than a million

people a year

while the Biltmore was under

construction George Vanderbilt began

acquiring acreage around the property to

use as a private hunting retreat this is

just one of the parcels he bought Mount


logging here had cut wide gashes into

the landscape but Vanderbilt hired

foresters to manage the land and bring

this forest back to life one of these

german-born Carl shank

went on to establish the Biltmore Forest

School the first of its kind in the

United States

in 1914 the US government bought 87,000

acres of this land from his estate and

turned it into the Pisgah National

Forest it's best known as the home

to Cold Mountain the title of the

best-selling civil war novel written by

Asheville native Charles Frazier and

later adapted into a film by Anthony