It was a balmy fall day and I was off work, so I went down to Biltmore Village for this post. It is a quaint picturesque area with turn of the century buildings housing restaurants and shops. The sidewalks are cobblestone, the buildings of Tudor style and the atmosphere festive. Let me give you some history of this historic neighborhood just south of downtown Asheville....
More than a century ago, George W. Vanderbilt transformed the sleepy crossroads settlement known as Best, or Asheville Junction, on the Swannanoa River into an idyllic model village near the entrance to his vast Biltmore Estate near Asheville. Biltmore Village served three purposes: to present an aesthetically pleasing prelude to the entrance of his estate; to create institutions to serve as a framework for his philanthropic endeavors to benefit the people of the area, and to create a self-contained and self-sustaining community that would also provide rental income.
Biltmore Village is a classic planned community, constructed in the late 1890s at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. Originally designed as a picturesque residential prelude to the Estate, the Village recreates the quaint atmosphere of an English community. The streets are laid out in a fan shape. Most of the streets are short, terminating at the outer edge of the "fan," giving the Village a geographically self-contained design. The diagonal streets were designed to emphasize depth and create sight lines between focal points of the Village - the depot, the church and the Estate entrance. Chief architects of the Biltmore Estate, Richard M. Hunt (architect) and Frederick Law Olmstead (landscape architect) co-designed the Biltmore Village community. Construction of Biltmore Village took place between 1897-1905, and the cottages were occupied as rental units beginning in 1900. Biltmore Village was declared a historic area and a local historic district in 1989.
The sky was a brilliant Carolina blue, completely cloudless which acted as a great backdrop to the architecture. The village consits of one and one half story to two story pebbledash cottages with recessed porches, multiple gables and steeply pitched roofs. The street lights are of the period as well as the street signs. I found myself walking, looking up, taking pictures of the angles and gables above me. Not easy to do on cobblestones!
I think I got some great window reflections and sky shots of the gables and trees in their lovely fall colors. Hope you enjoyed visiting this historic and quaint area - more to come of the depot and cathedral in another post.