To purchase a print of this drawing by author/artist
Lee Pantas, visit
Cherry Orchard Studio
When George W.
Vanderbilt began building Biltmore Estate near
Asheville in the late 1880s, he
planned a picturesque manorial village to be built just outside the entrance to
Constructed in the early 1900s, the Village was primarily the work of Richard
Hunt, Frederick Law Olmsted and Richard Smith. Today,
Biltmore Village is a
charming community of shops, restaurants and galleries offering world class
shopping in an historic setting. Be sure and take time to park your car and take
a walking tour of the many shops housed in the original historic buildings.
Planning began in 1889 and by 1896 the streets were laid in a fan shape. At the
front of the railroad depot, Olmsted (who was instrumental in developing the
village plan) placed a plaza, a simple diamond-shaped area framed by larger
commercial buildings. At the opposite end of this axis, the Church of All Souls
dominated the view as the tallest building in the Village. These primary
elements of the central spine of the Village still dominate the scene today.
All other streets were laid out in short lengths, with views
terminated into lots at the end. The result is
that views are contained within the Village so that the “outside
world” does not intrude into the setting. All Souls Church (now
Cathedral of All Souls), parish house, estate office and the railway
station were then built. Buildings were added to the Village until
about 1910, and shortly after Vanderbilt’s death, the Village was
sold. It was declared a National Historic District and a Local
Historic District in 1989.
Buildings of special historical interest in Biltmore Village are
the Cathedral Of All Souls, the Administration Building at 1 Biltmore Plaza, the Depot, The
Samuel Harrison Reed House at 119 Dodge Street and the cottages throughout the
main section of the village.
Biltmore Village is also noted for its Christmas festival that
surrounds the enacting of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” This enchanting festival
includes concerts, lighting displays and arts and crafts exhibits.
Directions: I-40 Exit 50 North on Highway 25/Biltmore Avenue.
Right immediately after All Souls Cathedral. From downtown
Asheville, take Biltmore Avenue south from Pack Square through the