Here’s How Much Biltmore Is Worth After Adjusting for Inflation

biltmore house in north carolina

The Biltmore Estate is commonly known as America's largest home (photo by Sofia Gullion/TheSmokies.com)

A look at the Biltmore Estate, from today’s standards

In the 1880s, George Washington Vanderbilt II came to the mountains with a dream. He also came with the type of generational wealth typically reserved for kings and pharaohs. So when Vanderbilt wanted a summer house, he purchased nearly 700 parcels of land – 50 farms and at least five cemeteries – amounting to roughly 125,000 acres in North Carolina.

Based on previous estimates and accounting for inflation, the Biltmore house and lands has an estimated value of roughly $186 million. The entire estate is likely closer to $372 million. It took about $6 million to construct it in 1895.

How much is the Biltmore Estate worth?

In a 2017 article from the Asheville Citizen-Times, Asheville’s local paper, tax appraisers put the value of the Biltmore House and public lands – which does not include all 8,000 acres remaining in the estate, at about $100 million price tag. Current estimates seem to put that worth today at roughly $186 million. They estimated that the entire Biltmore Estate, including the hotels, restaurants, conservatory, outbuildings and private residencies, was worth nearly $300 million, which would be closer to $372 million in today’s value after adjusting for inflation.

Biltmore mansion in North Carolina
The Biltmore mansion cost about $6 million to build in 1895 (photo by Konstantin L/shutterstock.com)

How much did Biltmore cost to build?

It took about $6 million in 1895 dollars to construct North Carolina’s answer to Versailles. The construction itself took six years and necessitated the building of a woodworking factory and a brick kiln. As a result, 32,000 bricks a day were produced on-site. In addition, a three-mile-long railroad spur was constructed to deliver building materials to the site. In all, the construction of the main house required 1,000 workers and 60 stonemasons on-site. The home has an indoor pool in the basement, a bowling alley, 65 fireplaces, 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. It is, in fact, the largest private residence in America.

Winery at Biltmore
Today, a visit to Biltmore includes free tastings at the winery (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

How much does the Biltmore Estate make a year?

The entire Biltmore estate has an estimated annual revenue of roughly $50 million, but the majority of that goes back into maintaining the estate and properties. It’s hard to determine how much actual Vanderbilt wealth remains. Over the years, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village and Winery, including Antler Hill Farm, The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, an Equestrian Center and numerous restaurants. The current CEO of Biltmore Company is Bill Cecil Jr, George Vanderbilt’s great-grandson.

The formal gardens at Biltmore
The spring tulips in the formal gardens of Biltmore Estate (photo by Joanne Dale/shutterstock.com)

Are the Vanderbilts still rich?

Cornelius Vanderbilt, George Vanderbilt’s grandfather, did well for himself in the steamboat game. He also got into the railroad game and made money in Manhattan real estate. By the time he passed in 1877, he had a worth of $105 million, roughly $3 billion by today’s standards. Cornelius left the lion’s share – roughly 95% to his son Billy and Billy’s four sons. The other 5% was split among Vanderbilt’s other son and nine daughters.

You might think that the descendants of Cornelius Vanderbilt running around spending such exorbitant amounts of money on such things as summer homes would have run through the Commodore’s wealth. You’d be right … and wrong.

It’s impractical to follow all the tendrils of the Commodore’s descendants. However, it seems that some are doing significantly better than others. The most famous of those is the fashionista and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt. She passed in 2019 with a relatively small fortune of which she left $1.5 million to her son, CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Gloria’s father Reginald, an avowed playboy and gambler, squandered most of that branch of the Vanderbilt family tree’s fortune. There are similar stories up and down the family tree. Still, other branches of the family tree have fared better. The North Carolina descendants have done well for themselves thanks in large part to the Biltmore.

TheSmokies.com

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7 thoughts on “Here’s How Much Biltmore Is Worth After Adjusting for Inflation”

  1. I am a practicing architect and professor of architecture how do university in Illinois.
    Just recently we travel to Biltmore with six graduate students from this year‘s class.
    Biltmore is Remarkable for anyone of a number of reasons. Not the least of which is the quality of architectural design craftsmanship, material selection and finishes that are embodied in the Biltmore house and its surrounding gardens and features.
    What I think is a noteworthy question is, what would the replacement cost be for the building of it could be built in today’s dollars?

    Reply
  2. I have been to Biltmore 5 times since my years at Brevard College, 1977-79. After moving to Boston in 1979, I often returned to the home for vacations and day trips during the fall foliage. Truly a beautiful home and grounds.

    Reply
  3. My great great grandfather was employed during the actual construction of the Biltmore Estate, he was a woodcarver and carpenter by trade. I was honored with a visit 2 times to the hotel and estate once with the granddaughter of this great woodcarver, my mother when she was about 80 years old and after her passing in 2016, I travelled with my husband to let him experience such a beautiful and incredible destination. I hope to win a trip or get to come again and get to speak with the historians about the stories my family has passed down about the time my great great grandfather spent with this incredible family many many years ago in the actual construction of this historical landmark . Sincerely a descendant of this history of George Vanderbilt.

    Reply
  4. My mother ‘s family lives 20 miles away in a small town called Canton. As a young boy I used to visit with my grandparents and remember eating Biltmore ice cream sandwiches at my aunt’s convenient store. Another ant told me a story about her father who work at the Biltmore gardens who died after he had a heart attack working in the gardens. This was when the Biltmore family lived at the estate. I love to be a tour guide there. Maybe someday.

    Reply
  5. I’ve yet to visit but it’s on my list.the job to find the craftsmen to duplicate this build would be a job in its self

    Reply

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