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Friday, October 23, 2015

Biltmore Estate - Odds and Ends

The South Terrace was a convenient place for guests to relax under this huge vine covered pergola.     There is a large area just beyond it that was originally a bowling green and could be used for tennis and croquet matches.       The vines are wisteria and trumpet creeper vines.

The gentleman with the handbag (again) was taking a break while I shot pictures.

This simple photo shows you the kind of detailed work on the outside of the house.     This is an obscure window on the side of the house, but it still received these detailed carvings.

I loved this stone fountain.  

The Italian Garden features classical statuary and three formal water gardens.    This area was designed for quiet moments of reflection by their guests.   I particularly loved the unique shape of this pond.

On our tour of the grounds we were taken to the spot where they found part of the railroad that brought supplies when they were building the house.     Vanderbilt had it destroyed when the house was completed.     Although the family got a large share of their fortune from the railroads, he blamed them for his mother's lung conditions and wanted nothing to do with them.     He had reluctantly agreed to put in this short line during construction because the materials were too heavy for the horses to pull.

I, however, got sidetracked and became fascinated by this fungi.  

Bass Pond was created to provide a water feature for guests.     There were rowboats for fishing or exploring.     It also attracted birds.

Whenever there was a heavy rain, the stream going in to Bass Pond would become full of mud and silt, making the pond unattractive.     This was unacceptable to Vanderbilt, so he had a self-taught engineer build a one-of-a-kind system to divert the water during those periods.     It worked amazingly well and was all automatic.       It is now designated a Historical Site.  

Unfortunately, it stopped working a few years ago.     They have been unable to find any drawings of the original design.    Because of its designation as Historical, they cannot make any repairs without the original drawings.    The system still works, but it must now be manually operated during rain storms.

The area over this system was covered in bricks made for the construction of the house.     They are labeled Biltmore.      Our guide told us that any home in Asheville that used a certain number of these bricks is worth at least 5% more than a similar home without these historic bricks.

Our visit to Biltmore Estate is complete.     It was fascinating.      It also included dinner one evening and a visit to the winery which is housed in the original milk barn.      It's all interesting..............

1 comment:

  1. You did the tour up right...great photos and you were able to take it all in at a more leisurely pace. Love the fungi!