Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 23, 1963):
In 1888, George W. Vanderbilt (1862-1914) began the purchase of over 125,000 acres of farms, woodlands, and forested mountains. In 1892, Vanderbilt appointed as superintendent of his forest Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946), who proved for the first time that scientific forest management was profitable. In 1898, Vanderbilt established the Biltmore Forest School, the first of its kind. On the estate is Biltmore House, designed by Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895) who was immensely popular among the wealthy families then building great estates in the manner of late Gothic French chateaux. It is now a house museum still owned by the original family.