Vanderbilt’s big digs

I was working in North Carolina recently and went to take a gander at Biltmore Estate.  This was the forested grounds and private residence of Mr. Moneybags himself, George Washington Vanderbilt II.

Built in 1895, Biltmore is still officially the largest private residence in the USA today.  It was designed as a French Chateaux and I could see the European choices everywhere, as though I’d just taken a trip across the Atlantic.  The immense grandeur inside and out reminded me of Schonbrunn near Wien.  The inner garden room reminded me of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.  The lawn statues reminded me of Fiorenze.

The most unexpected feature of the house (which I heard many people commenting on) was the indoor, old-school swimming pool with little wooden changing rooms in the nearby corridor.  Being subterranean, bone dry, and eerily quiet, it felt like the kind of creepy place that you’d film an American Horror Story episode.  Creepy rooms aside, I’d live there.  They say that a man’s home is his castle, and this is pretty much both.

Wikipedia –

Official website –


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