Selected Article


Blue Ridge Chateau: The Conceptual Design Evolution of Biltmore House


This thesis explores the early conceptual designs for Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. Examining architect Richard Morris Hunt’s surviving floorplans, elevation drawings, and a handful of other renderings, this thesis chronicles the evolution of Biltmore House on the drafting tables of the Hunt office from a luxurious but typical colonial revival mansion into the largest house ever constructed in the United States. Additionally, the thesis explores the European precedents that inspired the design of Biltmore House by comparing its details with those of buildings frequently referenced as having inspired its design in several secondary sources. The result is a deeper understanding of how the largest home in the United States came to take the shape it did.