This past Christmas my In-Laws got my wife and I as well as my brother and sister-in-law gift certificates to go to the Biltmore Estate. If you’re unfamiliar, it is the largest private estate in the US since Hearst’s Castle now belongs to the city of San Fancisco. I’ve now been able to see both William Hearst’s and George Vanderbilt’s (Biltmore) awesome visions. The trip to Hearst’s Castle was a few years before I got into the hobby, so it didn’t have the same impact. It was vastly larger however. There were no corners cut at Biltmore though. The woodworking was amazing. The home is 175,000 square feet with 60 bedrooms and 43 baths. Not to mention one of the oldest bowling alleys in the country. All of the molding and trim was quartersawn oak and huge! All of the furniture was detailed in every aspect. It would take me a life time to replicate any one piece assuming I could pull it off. There were several doors that were 8” thick solid oak. One was a pocket door that was 2 stories tall that operated on a pulley system. His home actually had electricity in the early 1900’s. I realize that I know little about this hobby but now have some amazing work to aspire to. Worth the trip if anyone is around the NC area.
-- Jeff, South Carolina