Frederick Law Olmsted | A Passion for Parks, National Geographic: Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate

Stunning mansion sits on hill overlooking scenic lake in autumn.

The Biltmore Estate is one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s finest landscapes and includes a six-acre lagoon that reflects the majestic house that is located near Asheville, North Carolina. In the late 1800s, George W. Vanderbilt sought the advice of Olmsted, the country’s preeminent landscape designer, to help him with an appropriate design to complement the French Renaissance-style château he was building in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Olmsted sited the house and created a lagoon, woodlands, gardens and the resulting Biltmore Estate that is considered a masterpiece and presently is enjoyed by nearly one million visitors each year.

Here, frail and nearing 70 nears old, he wrote to a friend, “I have raised my calling from the rank of a trade . . . (to) an Art, an Art of design.”

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