Vanderbilt's Biltmore

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Vanderbilt's Biltmore

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The original sketch for the Biltmore, George Washington Vanderbilt's grand estate in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, laid out plans for a modest Tuscan villa. But ambition quickly took wing. The house swelled to 225 rooms and became - until 2012 when it was topped by the home of a billionaire in Mumbai, India - the world's largest residence ever built for a private citizen. Here, in this essay, New York Times bestselling author Robert Wernick tells the story of the house that Vanderbilt built - from the gardens by Frederick Law Olmsted to the John Singer Sargent portraits that adorn its walls.

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