Biltmore Treasure Talk, September 30, 2007.




Ever since I "found" Biltmore about four years ago (with the help of list member Brian Hawley), one of my major interests in the house has been the preservation and restoration work that has been carried out.

Brian has often told me of past "treasure talks," but until I attended this one last Sunday, I never realized the amount of care, attention, and yes, money, that is lavished on carrying out what is by far the best restoration work I have ever seen.  In short, the work that the curatorial department is doing is stunning in its accuracy and scope.

Sunday morning, we all met for brunch at the Deerpark Restaurant.  After brunch, the "goodies" began to make an appearance.  Todd's rare photos of the house and property, Brian's letters from George and Edith (as well as a silver coffee pot that once belonged to George), and Shelley's letter from Consuelo were among the highlights.  One point of interest is that Brian's letter from Edith is extremely rare in that it is actually written on Biltmore House stationery -- one of only two pieces of this stationery known to exist.

After a series of four talks given by the curatorial department, everyone was invited to the house to view the rooms to see what is being done.  Unfortunately, no photography was allowed in the rooms (drat!!), but the staff was friendly, courteous, and extremely knowledgeable about the subject.  They took the time to answer every question we had, which, as you all know, were numerous!

What follows are a few of the photos I took over the weekend at the Estate.  If you want to see a larger version of each photo, just click on it.

Thanks to Shelley for the extra photos!


I thought the Bat Cave was a secret location?

Brian gets a big smile on his face as we get near the Estate.

Hunt's superb entry tower.

The foliage around the house was in full bloom.

Those pesky added windows. 

Brian outside the Winter Garden.

The front door.

One of my favorite things to do is just take some time and sit on the loggia.

Brian on the loggia, just outside the Tapestry Gallery.

Because of the beautiful weather, many of the exterior door were open.  I have been told that photography from outside the house looking in is acceptable; so here are a few images taken through the screen doors.

The Library.

The book press behind the Library entrance door.  I was told that the book in the press has not been changed in years.

The Music Room from the loggia.

The Winter Garden from the loggia.

A view of GWV's bath tub taken about a year ago before this window was boarded up.

Todd, Brian, and Mr. Hunt.

A view of the house from Diana.

Before our rooftop tour, we hiked up to the reservoir.

Another view of the reservoir.  The water level seemed low compared to prior visits.

The Ramp Douce from the top of the entry tower.

A weather vane.

A view of the western roof.

The only place on the house that Brian has found where the original slate tiles have not been repaired with slate.

The added kitchen for the Stable Cafe, which was very sympathetically done.  I have heard that the entire structure is supposedly attached with only six bolts.

Note the new ice cream cooler, part of which can be seen in the center bottom of this picture.

The employee smoking area has fantastic lamps. 

From left to right:  David, Donna, Elaine, Janice, and Todd.

From left to right:  Bill Adam (former host at the house), Mike, Brian, Shelley, and Sylvia.

Bill Adam and Mike discuss a fine point of Vanderbilt genealogy.

Donna and David hold one of Brian's favorite pieces --  a coffee pot once owned by GWV and given to him by MLV on his 29th birthday.  It is engraved on the bottom as being from his private rail car, "Swannanoa."

Shelly and Elaine.

Janice and her husband Tim.

Sylvia and Shelly.

Lioncrest.  This is where the lecture was held.

The conference room set up for the lecture.

Brian and his "baby." 

As we were leaving, David and Donna had some battery issues.... 



Main page

Send e-mail


2009 Eric Sauder

 Please do not use text or photos from this web site without permission.

If you ask, I will be glad to share as long as proper credit is given.