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The Biltmore Estate represents the finest architecture, construction, and materials available in the late nineteenth century. The famous house was built by George Vanderbilt, grandson of Corneluis Vanderbilt. George inherited money from Cornelius, a pioneer in the railroad industry (Hudson et al. 113). Cornelius Vanderbilt gained much of his wealth and prominence through hard work in the railroad and shipping industries (Cohen n. pag). BY the time he died, his railroad company he owned was worth well over one-hundred fifty million dollars. Most of his estate was left to his son William, George’s father ("Vanderbilt, Cornelius [1794-1877]" n. pag). While in control of the Vanderbilt fortune, William doubled the size (The Vanderbilt…show more content…
35). Many artifacts that George Vanderbilt collected are still kept in the house today. There are over ten thousand books kept in the library, many of which George read for leisure, as well as a chess set that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte. Over two hundred paintings that George Vanderbilt collected during his travels are kept in the house (“Biltmore” n. pag). The seventeen acres of gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same designer of the gardens in Biltmore Village (Hudson et al. 113). Daily life at the estate was simple. Time would be spent visiting friends or relaxing throughout the home. Both the indoor swimming pool and bowling alley provided entertainment to the Vanderbilt’s and their guests. Servants also scurried about, in order to please the Vanderbilt family. Employees also operated the farm and dairy center located on the premises. Sometimes George Vanderbilt would travel to his hunting retreat at Mount Pisgah. When George Vanderbilt died in 1914, due to a heart attack after an emergency appendectomy, his wife, Edith, sold most of the property to the federal government for five dollars and acre. Later, because of financial purposes, about twelve thousand acres more were sold. This land became a large portion of the Pisgah National Forest (Pisgah National Forest n. pag). After the sales, roughly eight thousand acres of land remain for the estate (Hintz et al. n. pag). The House was opened to the public in 1930. Although
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