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OTHER ITA SITES:
Asheville Real Estate Then And Now.
The beauty of the Buncombe County area is legendary and enjoyed as much today as in the past. In the past numerous eastern moguls would travel to this area to enjoy the outdoors and in many ways this area was the playground of the rich and famous.
Around 1880 when George W. Vanderbilt was 25, he visited Asheville and fell in love with the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. He decided to build a county get away in the form of a magnificent country estate and began the plans for what is the nationís largest private home, the Biltmore House.
Completed in 1895, the 250-room French Renaissance mansion was furnished and decorated with finds made by Vanderbilt during collecting trips in Europe. The home had the then modern conveniences not available to the general public, which included electric lights, central hot water and electric elevators.
Vanderbilt commissioned Frederick Law Olmstead, landscape architect of New York Cityís Central Park, to turn 75 acres surrounding the house into formal gardens. This would include walled Garden with 50,000 tulips, the Rose Garden with 2,300 bushes of more than 150 varieties, the Azalea Garden and the Italian Garden. Biltmore House and its gardens are open for public tours.
The Grove Park Inn, built in 1913 from boulders cut by hand and hauled from the nearby Sunset Mountains, offered first class service and accommodations to the wealthy that were not staying at Biltmore House. Guests at the Grove Park Inn include Thomas Alva Edison, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Ford, many generations of Rockefellers, and US Presidents. Today, Grove Park Inn is just as luxurious as when it first opened, with a full-service spa and excellent restaurants.
Today people from other parts of the country are discovering and falling in love with the Asheville area the same way Vanderbilt did some 125 years ago.
Fortunately for homebuyers there are numerous new home developments in the area that complement the natural surrounding. Some of these new homes join the original Vanderbilt properties.
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Travel Part B