On the Roof of Biltmore House
A recent addition to the choices offered to visitors of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is a special “Architect’s Tour”. Not only do you go into rooms that are normally off limits to the regular public, but you also are taken outside onto the walkway of Biltmore’s distinctive roof. You are above the gargoyles, and have panoramic views of the front lawn and gardens. Arriving early, the chateau is a silhouette against the rising sun.
From the normally off limits side loggia, the main staircase tower is resplendent with statues of Joan of Arc and St. George (?). The balconies are actually camouflage for the cantilevered stone stairs that protrude outside of the staircase walls.
Moving to the loggia between George and Edith Vanderbilt’s bedrooms, the stone carvers were given a free hand to create their own characters along the main wall. Here an African-American worker is glorified for his contributions to the effort.
Having left the house, a walk through the amazing Biltmore gardens never disappoints.
One last view shows the natural beauty of the Biltmore forest. Every inch of the main grounds was totally planned for prime impact no matter where you look.