Sunday, September 9, 2018


Scarecrows on the patio outside the Village Hotel lobby

I have no idea what this flower is, but it fascinates me

One of two Chihuly exhibits in Antler Village

Bronze sculpture of Cornelia Vanderbilt and her dog, Cedric, outside Cedric's Tavern

Part of the old barn complex

I bought a UV protective hat. That sun was blazing hot

Biltmore House at twilight

Chihuly glass in the Italian Gardens

There are 3 reflective pools in the Italian Gardens
This was a great trip. If you have never been to the Biltmore Estate, I highly recommend it. Warning: there is a lot of walking. But the outdoor grounds are wheelchair accessible. The house is not. The entire estate is over 8,000 acres. I 40 runs through part of the property, according to our cab driver for the airport trips.

I am no longer physically able to walk for miles, or we would have. Wildlife is abundant, but we only saw deer and turkeys. Several people on our shuttles saw black bears. Oh, yeah.

As it was explained to us, each Chihuly exhibit is shipped wrapped in bubble wrap, and numbered. The installation is done by a cadre of art workers representing Mr. Chihuly. He is based in Seattle, WA. I was told that you can tour his working studio in that area. The glass is in individual pieces. For example, above in the purple each spike is one piece. An armature is constructed to attach the glass. This particular exhibit at Biltmore will end October 7th. All of the glass will be removed, again wrapped in bubble wrap, and returned to the artist. The estate will then gear up for Christmas decorating.

There was one exhibit inside the house in the English Garden, one outside the house to the right of the front entrance, and the remaining were scattered in the gardens. Two exhibits are in Antler Village, which is adjacent to the Village Hotel where we stayed.

Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt had only one child, Cornelia. Cornelia married and had two sons. The oldest, Cecil, inherited the property after his mother's death, and ran the corporation. He lived to be 93. His two children, a son and a daughter, now own the Biltmore Estate. They live on the estate, but not in the house. The house has been declared a national landmark and is being preserved with the furnishings intact. We were told that both live with their families in renovated farm houses, and are down to earth, environmentally conscious people. They will ride horses on the grounds. All of the restaurants are farm to table, even before that became a trend. A portion of the acreage is a working farm, raising cattle, pigs, and lambs. Vegetables are grown, there are chickens, and 50% of the eggs consumed are from that farm. So when you eat a breakfast at the Village Social restaurant, you are eating bacon, eggs, potatoes, and possibly jelly on your biscuit that has all been processed right there.

The Vanderbilt family is not as rich as their founder by any means. But the house and grounds have never fallen to ruin, and they are turning a profit and providing employment for hundreds of people. The estate was not always profitable.

More to come tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment