Thursday, November 11, 2010

Biltmore Village


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.




32 comments:

Odie Langley said...

And all this time I never knew there was anything but the estate to see there. That village is adorable and your tour was fantastic. Thanks
Odie

Donnie said...

We have been down there many times and it is a lovely strolling area. The window shopping was fabulous. Thanks for taking me along on your day out. Have a great day.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

These photos are so lovely. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.

Old Kitty said...

Gosh!! It's very English with its pebbledash and cobblestreets!! What an amazing amazing town. What a history!!! Thanks for sharing this here - it's just incredible how one man's vision could be realised (helps that the man was Vanderbilt!!!). Are the houses still rental only or can people buy property there and is it still run by the Vanderbilts company/descendants?

It's a beautifully kept town!!!

Take care
x

John Green said...

We Love having lunch in Biltmore Village, its so nice to sit outside on a nice day.

Louvregirl said...

Thank you for this post. I haven't been there yet; I will study this post! Thank you for the info on it. Hope to go. :)
louvregirl

Carver said...

Very interesting post and wonderful autumn shots from Biltmore Village.

EG Wow said...

The perfect combination: a balmy day, a day off, and a camera. Thank you for taking us along.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific, colorful reflections and skies and you've captured them perfectly! It does indeed look like a terrific day! Thanks for sharing it with us! Enjoy your weekend!

Sylvia

Dimple said...

How interesting! I would love to see a map of the village, showing the fan and sight lines you mention! It looks like a quaint and beautiful community.

Kim, USA said...

Pretty little town. Great capture!
Looking at the sky

Kerry said...

I didn't realize that there was a planned community around the estate, plus I think I just learned a new word: pebbledash! What an interesting and unique outing.

Clytie said...

I love reading the history of places, as long as there are beautiful photos to make it real! Thank you!

Elisa said...

That house and its surroundings are lovely!

Pauline said...

That village looks like it is purpose built for photographers. A perfect subject for this topic, that's for sure. And you captured it beautifully.

Genie said...

Now you are really into my old tromping growing. We lived in Biltmore Forest before moving to the Manor Grounds, and Ridgley was the landscape architect for Bill Cecil at the Biltmore Estate. We went to All Souls before moving on to Trinity. Back then Ridgley’s office was actually in the old Biltmore Estate building in Biltmore Village. These photos are perfect. What a great way for me to end a busy Friday...with lots of neat old memories.

Randi said...

Beautiful photos from a lovely little town.

Lesley said...

What a charming village!

namaki said...

yes this was a very interesting tour of your village full of reflections !!

Jama said...

What a lovely little town!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, what a great well researched post. I'd never heard of the place. Wonderful photographs.

cieldequimper said...

So pretty and the reflection in the 4th shot is gorgeous!

In the eye of the beholder by Gayla said...

Your right this is a quaint lovely place to visit. Thanks for sharing it.

lizziviggi said...

This looks like such a fun place to explore! What a charming area. And you just can't go wrong with reflected fall foliage. Nicely done!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

This is a familiar and beautiful area. I learned to make glass in Asheville and my parents lived in Pisgah Forest before moving to the "flatlands."

Lovely photos,
Genie (the other one)

~SueSCharmingChippyCottageCreations~ said...

Thank you for a wonderful tour this is such a beautiful place.

Míriam Luiza said...

Olá! Suas fotos são lindas e suas informações importantes!

Doreen said...

charming and quaint. I love the street sign shot. I tried to find a place to email you for permission to copy and post on FMTSO but do not see it!! ??

Tricia said...

If I had the money, I'd do the exact same thing - Build a quaint little entrance to my MANSION! But the fanned out street design wouldn't have occurred to me & it's a wonderful, & I'm guessing, BEAUTIFUL idea!!! I would also imagine that fall has to be the most magical time to visit such a place... it just seems like the kind of place that fall makes it such a gorgeous place!

sunflowerkat321 said...

I've heard a lot about the estate, especially as a concert venue I didn't realize there was such a sweet little village there as well.

I'm hoping to get down there next summer. Now I'm even more excited about it after seeing all that is in the area.

Kat
http://inmydreamssfk.blogspot.com/

Appalachian Lady said...

I've visited Biltmore before but never heard of Biltmore village. Thanks for the great photos--I need to visit it sometime (half-day's drive from here).

Martha Z said...

We visited Biltmore Estate several years ago but didn't see this lovely area. I'm sorry now we didn't take the time.

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