This photo of the Biltmore House at Sunset was taken in mid-October around 15 minutes prior to sunset.
The Biltmore House and surrounding estate was built by George Vanderbilt in 1895 and stands as the prime example of the gilded age in America’s industrial revolution. George Vanderbilt commissioned Richard Morris Hunt, a favorite architect of the Vanderbilt family, to design the home. The home features over 250 rooms including an indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, elevators and early forms of lighting, air conditioning and refrigeration. The 178,000 square foot Biltmore remains the largest privately owned residence in America.
Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of American landscape architecture and who is known for designing New York’s Central Park, designed the surrounding landscape architecture. Immediately adjacent to the Biltmore house is the formal garden and greenhouse, and beyond that the landscape shifts to the more natural setting that defined Olmstead’s approach.
Following George Vanderbilt’s death in 1914, Vanderbilt’s widow sold 85,000 of the original 125,000 acres in the estate to the federal government. This land, including much of the scene in the background of this photo, became the foundation for the Pisgah National Forest area.