2019 Spring Shoot: Biltmore Estate Excursion

Jan 24, 2019  By Richard Rejino

Vanderbilt’s Biltmore – The Castle of the East

One of the greatest benefits of LHSA membership is the chance to join other members at some very interesting spring shoot destinations. Join us on April 25-27, 2019 in North Carolina, where good friends  and a Leica are always a great combination!

The Biltmore Estate is a remarkable place, both for the mansion and the surrounding gardens.  Completed for George Vanderbilt in 1895 after six years of construction, the mansion has 250 rooms, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.  When we visited there in 2011, the guide told us they built a railroad spur to bring in construction material, an indication of the massive size of the project.

Completed in 1895, George Vanderbilt’s 250-room chateau is as impressive today as it was more than a century ago. Biltmore House is truly a wonder of architecture and hospitality. As our guest, you’re invited to enjoy a self-guided tour of the house, as well as the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding it, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

During the 2019 LHSA Spring Meet, you will have the opportunity to visit the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. George Vanderbuilt, born in 1862, visited Asheville in 1888 deciding to make this location the site of his country home. He began construction a year later of the 250-room chateau. Six year’s later on Christmas Eve, this French Renaissance castle was open to the friends and family. A fitting occasion marking George’s heritage.

The gardens are easily accessed beside the Biltmore House and in April will have many of the flowers in bloom. Acres of paths, trees, plants and the horticultural experts that care for all these gardens will be available to visit and photograph. Tours of the Biltmore House will also be available where you can see paintings from some of the world masters of the time and Napolean’s chess set which Vanderbuilt enjoyed.

If you would like to spend more time in Asheville, visiting Pisgah Forest, about 30-40 minutes away, will give you sights like the Fish Hatchery where trout are spawned and released into the Davidson River, Looking Glass Falls, over 100 feet of falling water that can freeze in the winter time and further up, the Biltmore Forest School. A ranger station is near the entrance of Pisgah with more information and entering the park is free.

Richard Rejino
Richard is the Executive Director of LHSA - The International Leica Society and a part-time professional photographer. He is also a classically trained pianist, writer and published author. His book, "What Music Means to Me" is available from Hal Leonard Corporation.


Hi, I’m a new member and this will be my first time attending. If I want to attend the Spring shoot in Asheville, NC, which airport do you suggest I should be flying into? Also, would I need a car when going to the places where we will be shooting? How about transportation from and to the airport? I’d rather not rent a car if I don’t have to and if I can just take an Uber or a cab. Sorry for all the questions, I’ve never been to Asheville before.

    Hello, Celso, I’m glad to hear that you are coming to your first LHSA event! I know you will enjoy meeting everyone and learning while you’re there. Fly into the Asheville Regional Airport. Let us know if you have any questions. info@lhsa.org.

What an extraordinary event! Perfectly planned with plenty of time to shoot and the speakers were amazing. Jon Krol’s work was very inspiring and David gave great insights into new ways of seeing.
This was my first LHSA shoot and I’ll not miss another. Everyone that I met was very welcoming and had a very deep knowledge of all things Leica. Not only did I learn a great deal but made many new friends.
Kudos to Richard and everyone who planned a perfect LHSA event.
If you’ve never attended, don’t miss the opportunity. I know I won’t.

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