daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Photo Forums > Urban Showcase

Urban Showcase Show your selfmade photos



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old August 15th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #1
hauntedheadnc
...wolf in cheap clothing
 
hauntedheadnc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Posts: 734
Likes (Received): 107

Hauntedhead visits the biggest house in the USA

If you live near a tourist attraction, at some point you have to ask yourself why let the tourists have all the fun? Go and enjoy it yourself from time to time. As it so happens, I live about five miles from the largest house in the US. It's a mansion called Biltmore House, built between 1890 and 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt. It was first opened to tourists in 1930 and today the house draws just over a million visitors every year.

Why? Well, it's a must for any fan of Victorian technology. At the time of its completion, Biltmore was the most technologically-advanced structure on earth and included among its innovations were an elevator, an intercom system, and an indoor heated and lit swimming pool.

Biltmore also draws tourists who come to see the art treasures from around the world displayed inside. There are paintings by Sargent and Renoir, rare Chinese porcelains, a ceiling taken from a Venetian palace, tapestries that belonged to Cardinal Richelieu, and a table and chess set that belonged to Napoleon just for starters.

Today when I visited, it appeared that all the international tourists were in town to see the place, as the friend I took along on this excursion and myself saw about a dozen tour groups from the far corners of the globe enjoying Biltmore. We heard Japanese, Chinese, Russian, French, and German being spoken, saw a Bangladeshi family and a Filipino family, and there were two Indian families touring the house. One included a grandmother resplendant in a sari colored in peacock hues. The other included a model-thin and model-beautiful teenage girl who warmed everyone's hearts when she fell off a fountain and landed on her ass in the mud.

It's nice to see that the beautiful people are human too.

Anyway, here are the pictures. I didn't get as many as I'd wanted because yet again, my camera battery died, but I am rather pleased with what I captured.

Our visit began with a sumptuous lunch.

















The view from the terrace.





New Yorkers might find this kind of tile familiar, and for good reason. This is the work of Rafael Guastavino, who used this same tiling technique at Grand Central Station.











Don't you think this cherub looks a teense prissy?









































The annual flower carpet display got going today. This year's design was based on the fleur-de-lis pattern found on some of the house's pillars. Last year's design was an interpretation of a heating grate in one of the bedrooms.













When viewed from certain angles, this little fairy cherub (she has butterfly wings) appears to be stoned off her gourd. There's another statue nearby that features a cherub strangling a dove.













Meanwhile, down in the Italian Garden...





















And at this point, the camera died. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn't get any good shots of the front of the house, the puking turtle fountains, the spider-infested statue of Diana the Huntress, the bare-breasted sphinx... I missed out on a lot, actually. I'm thinking I need to get a season pass.
__________________
Bring me the head of Strawberry Shortcake!!
hauntedheadnc no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old August 15th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #2
John123
Excellence
 
John123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,413
Likes (Received): 2444

It is very very nice!
John123 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #3
hauntedheadnc
...wolf in cheap clothing
 
hauntedheadnc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Posts: 734
Likes (Received): 107

Thanks for looking and leave your comment.
__________________
Bring me the head of Strawberry Shortcake!!
hauntedheadnc no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2009, 04:32 AM   #4
John123
Excellence
 
John123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,413
Likes (Received): 2444

You're welcome.
I want to visit the mansion now.
John123 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #5
Parisian Girl
MONACO _ Côte d'Azur
 
Parisian Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PARIS - Monte Carlo - London
Posts: 16,662
Likes (Received): 2829

Wonderful photos I've heard of this house/mansion and would really like to visit some day. It's very beautiful and the grounds are amazing. The architecture is very European, of course, varying in several styles from what I can gather from these shots. Would love to see more photos, especially interiors, if it's possible?

Well done!
__________________
Je m'appelle Paris
Parisian Girl no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #6
kaul
Registered User
 
kaul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 102
Likes (Received): 3

so beautiful and French-like, even the surrounding landscape resembles the Loire valley. This building reminds me of the Chenonceau Chateau. it's sad that andy cooper, a descendant of the Vanderbilt family doesn't even know that this house exists. My former narrow-minded history teacher once remarked "the only good thing that the Vanderbilt ever did was donating to the university". He obviously had no idea of all the great architectural legacies that they left behind.
kaul no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #7
Taller, Better
Administrator
 
Taller, Better's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 71,077
Likes (Received): 12284

Sorry your camera died! It is hard to find shots of the interior on the net. I love these big old robber baron palaces!
__________________
'Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood."
-architect Daniel Burnman
Taller, Better no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #8
Johnny Blade
█ �� █
 
Johnny Blade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Guelph Junction Railway
Posts: 372
Likes (Received): 96

Great shots I must say!
Johnny Blade no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #9
hauntedheadnc
...wolf in cheap clothing
 
hauntedheadnc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Posts: 734
Likes (Received): 107

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parisian Girl View Post
Wonderful photos I've heard of this house/mansion and would really like to visit some day. It's very beautiful and the grounds are amazing. The architecture is very European, of course, varying in several styles from what I can gather from these shots. Would love to see more photos, especially interiors, if it's possible?

Well done!
Thanks for your compliments. Photography of the interior is prohibited, unfortunately but I can understand why. That constant flashing can't be good for the paintings or fabrics, plus tourists stopping to take photos would just clog up the flow of visitors through the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaul View Post
so beautiful and French-like, even the surrounding landscape resembles the Loire valley. This building reminds me of the Chenonceau Chateau. it's sad that andy cooper, a descendant of the Vanderbilt family doesn't even know that this house exists. My former narrow-minded history teacher once remarked "the only good thing that the Vanderbilt ever did was donating to the university". He obviously had no idea of all the great architectural legacies that they left behind.
There's a good reason it reminds you of the Loire Valley. It reminded Vanderbilt of the Loire Valley also, and he based Biltmore on some of the Loire chateaux. For that reason, Saumur, France is one of Asheville's sister cities today.

I also agree that your history teacher was narrow-minded. Asheville would not be half of what it is today without Vanderbilt's influence. We lucked out, to say the least because once all those artisans, architects, and craftsmen were finished with Biltmore, they were turned loose on Asheville itself. Their efforts are the reason that Asheville is the most architecturally diverse city in the state of North Carolina, and arguably the most beautiful city in the state as well. It's one thing to have beautiful mountains, but lots of places have beautiful mountains. It's another to have beautiful mountains as a backdrop to palaces and magnificent buildings of all sorts. That's in addition to the positive social change wrought by Vanderbilt. In Asheville they funded schools and churches, founded a factory to promote traditional Appalachian textile arts and other crafts, and they founded what is today the YMI Cultural Center -- thought to be the oldest African-American community center in America.

To everyone else, thank you for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed them. When I have some extra time and money, I'll certainly go back and get the rest of the photos I should have gotten this time around. The Biltmore gardens alone are worth a photo thread of their own.
__________________
Bring me the head of Strawberry Shortcake!!

Last edited by hauntedheadnc; August 16th, 2009 at 10:17 PM.
hauntedheadnc no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #10
mansionman
Registered User
 
mansionman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Raleigh North Carolina U.S.A.
Posts: 1
Likes (Received): 0

your pictures were fantastic, such close up detail .
i have been there twice and have alot of pics. , of all of it , front , walled garden , i have about 200 pics.
but i am new to this site and not sure what i am doing yet . i hope to post /make a thread of them .
RICHIE
mansionman no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #11
christos-greece
Moderator!
 
christos-greece's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 176,879
Likes (Received): 244676

Great, very nice photos from this building - castle i also want to see interior photos if it possible...
__________________
Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
Cityscapes: Paris Barcelona Dubai, U.A.E. Monte Carlo, Monaco
General photography: Castles of France - Chateau de France and, since May of '08: Greece!
christos-greece no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #12
ExcellentALWAYS
Ambitious Girl
 
ExcellentALWAYS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Still BREATHING...
Posts: 1,400

I also live in North Carolina but all the way in Charlotte. Heard about this place before.

Thnx for sharing.
ExcellentALWAYS no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium