Saturday, January 02, 2010

Biltmore & A Picture!

Wideshot of the front of Biltmore

For my post today, I wanted to give you all a look at Biltmore House which is located in Asheville, North Carolina. Last Sunday I went for the fourth time but it was my first visit at night. Every Christmas season they have candlelite evenings with ballroom dancing, singing, not to mention that the house is beautifully decorated for the season. Unfortunately, the picture taking was not so great at night but I'm going to include some scans of the brochure and some pictures from their website to help with my lousy pictures!

First up, I'll include a little history for those of you who haven't heard of or have been to Biltmore. Mr. George Vanderbilt (great great granduncle of Anderson) commissioned renowned architect, Richard Morris Hunt to plan and help build the house, which was modeled after a 16th century French Chateau. Mr. Vanderbilt, wanting the very best, also employed famed landscaper, Frederick Law Olmstead to landscape the vast grounds of Biltmore Estate. Olmstead's best known for creating and landscaping Central Park in NYC.

George & Cornelia (his only child)

George's wife Edith & Cornelia

Beginning in 1889 and completed in 1895, Biltmore was and still is the largest privately owned home in America with over 175,000 square feet and 250+ rooms. It is currently owned and run by Cornelia's grandsons. The 8,000 acre estate contains not only the house but formal gardens, greenhouses, equestrian trails, a winery, a dairy and the soon-to-be-opened Antler Hill Village. This will open in Spring 2010 with shops, restaurants and more.

Biltmore Winery

The house is filled with room after room of amazing furnishing and unbelievable technology for it's day. They had 40+ bathrooms, all with indoor plumbing, indoor electricity, elevators, an indoor heated pool and more. All of these things were unheard of for the time. George Vanderbilt skimped on nothing for the estate!

The main staircase

On the first floor (Their are 4 floors and a basement) are located most of the main entertaining areas. The entrance hall is outstanding with it's gorgeous conservatory and skylight ceiling.

They also have the banquet hall with it's triple fireplace that is so large you can actually walk into it! It also includes a 7 story ceiling and the walls are lined with 14th century Flemish tapestries.

At Christmas (this is how I saw it on Sunday)

The absolute best part of the main living floor is Mr. Vanderbilt's library. There are more than 10,000 volumes in eight languages (of which Mr. Vanderbilt spoke all eight). The most interesting piece is a chess set that was previously owned by Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Library at Christmas

On the second floor you get a glimpse into their private family time when you see George and Edith's individual bedrooms that are separated by a receiving room. Perhaps this is why they only had one child? (ha) Edith's rooms is actually oval and all the doors are curved to fit into the oval shape of the room.
Edith's room

George's room

This is really only the tip of the iceberg of what is at Biltmore. There are so many rooms in the house and on the tour you only see a small fraction of them. They are constantly preserving and refurbishing new rooms, four of which opened to the public this fall. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the Asheville area. It's well worth the time and money. It will truly leave you in awe!


And for a special treat.... Kathy Griffin's new Twitter picture. I love it!

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All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.


sydney said...

That pic with Kathy is adorable! I wish it were clearer.

ACAnderFan said...

The pic of Anderson and Kathy is cute. Anderson looks good in red. He should wear it more often.

The pictures of the Biltmore are nice. It looks like a really pretty place.

Jacq said...

I loved the pictures of Biltmore. It sounds like a great tour. AC and Kathy look great!

judy said...

Tedi B. Thanks for showing us the Biltmore. Do you happen to know if the Vanderbilt's still own it?
It looks as though the entire place was remodeled, especially the wood floors and the fantastic molding around the fireplace.
Does Kathy go any place without her emmys? If she made them into small gold charms, she could wear them around her neck.

Tedi B said...

@Judy Yes, actually they still do own it. George's daughter Cornelia married John Cecile. She had two sons and their sons own it today. Their grandchildren and great grand children still run it. It's nice to know they still do own.

Reggie said...

Anderson when you visit the Biltmore do you visit your cousins and are you close to them?

I love the Biltmore House, restaurant, and hotel and grounds. Been there four times or more. I recently read the book "The Rise and Fall of the Vanderbilts" a very good book.

Saw your mom on your show and loved her. Can't wait to purchase her newest book and read it.

Reggie said...

Anderson on your show today it was about getting to know you ancestors. After the lady said she lived close to the Biltmore House you mentioned that they are your cousins but you did not know much about them.
Did you not visit them on your visit to the Biltmore. And have you read Fortune's Children The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II. If you read this book you will know everything about your Great Grandfather William Henry Vanderbilt.

I think you look a lot like your great Uncle George Vanderbilt (the chin, the nose and oval shaped face).

Your great, great grandfather the known as the Commodore reminded me of my father. Very rich, no time for his children. I can relate to the way William H. (Billy) was treated by his father.

According to your fifth cousin once removed on the Cooper side of your family they must of been and still be a family of money.

Very good show thanks Reggie

donna lane said...

That was the most wonderful show and insight into the vanderbilts and a mothers love and a sons love in return. So glad to know about Gloria's granddaughters and her love for them. What a fantastic look into the life of Gloria and Anderson and families. Really down to earth and not sugar coated. By far the most interesting thing I have watched. Also I Have been to the Biltmore Castle a few years back before I had even heard of Anderson so All was extremely interesting to me. I am a Canadian, live in Canada and a group of us all called each other and talked about the show. We really loved it. Thanks Gloria and Anderson.