#1: Biltmore, North Carolina: 135,280 sq ft
America’s largest privately-owned house, Biltmore in North Carolina was built for George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late 19th century. The colossal Gilded Age mansion, which is still owned by a descendant of the Vanderbilt family, sprawls over 178,926 square feet.
The gigantic house, which was modeled on the Château de Blois in France’s Loire Valley, was built over a six-year period by thousands of workers and features more than 250 exquisitely-decorated rooms. The epic mansion is now open to the public 365 days a year.
The biggest room in the house, the medieval-style banquet hall, seriously wows with a seven-story high ceiling, intricately-carved wooden paneling and a supersized table that seats 30-plus diners.
Vanderbilt traveled throughout Europe and Asia collecting fabulous antiques and paintings for his country home. Needless to say, Biltmore is a treasure trove of art, and works by the likes of Renoir and Sargent hang on its walls, as well as a selection of breathtaking 16th-century tapestries.
Originally shared on Quora.
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