The Biltmore Mansion was built by George Washington Vanderbilt on the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States, and typically serves as a tourist attraction.
George Washington Vanderbilt was a wealthy man who chose the region near the Great Smoky Mountains to construct the Biltmore mansion as a vacation home. It was also used as a home for his mother, who was often sick with chronic malaria. Initially, he bought a 2,000-acre piece of land and hired several architects to help design the home. One of them was Richard Morris Hunt, an architect who had helped build another house of Vanderbilts.
The Biltmore Mansion was built to resemble the Waddeson manor in England and the Chateau de Blois in France, with spiral staircases and many styles of furniture. The house gets its name from the Vanderbilt family's ancestral location in Bilt, Holland. Its construction required a high amount of physical labor, which led to the employment of many individuals in Asheville and bolstered the local economy. The house needed its own railroad track to provide the huge amount of materials necessary for construction. The track continued to be used after the completion of the house, to provide goods to local inhabitants.