I forgot to warn you: there may be many pictures of flowers and beautiful landscaping to follow. I couldn’t help myself, everything was so incredibly beautiful!
Main entrance to the house.
Side view of the house. This was taken from the stables (which have been converted into shopping and restaurants.
This is the grand staircase, just to the left of the main entrance. Inside is the main spiral staircase. Down its center is a chandelier that lights each floor and the chandelier is three stories from top to bottom. Also notice the outside stairs. They don’t lead anywhere, but there are little doors along the way so someone on the inside stairs could step outside. The outside stairs were really just decorative and they anchored the inside staircase to the wall they shared.
This is one of the patios. Its covered with (I think) grape vines which haven’t started leafing, yet.
A view along the back of the house.
I can’t say why, but these rolling hills are really beautiful. I know the picture doesn’t capture it, but come visit for yourself and you’ll see what I mean!
This is the other side view of the house, the one opposite the stables. I took it from the end of the enormous (like at least a football field long, enormous) patio. The fuzziness in the middle of the house is that grape vine-covered patio we saw earlier.
I walked down a staircase at the end of that enormous patio and found this beautiful scene.
Here, more grape vines (I think!) cover that walkway that runs along the lower wall of that enormous patio we saw a couple pictures back.
Another view of the house from the gardens.
Here we are!
Finally! My camera comes close to capturing the really green trees. Those that have started the leaf, anyway. There are plenty that are still bare.
This is the covered walkway that runs through the gardens and leads to the Conservatory.
Field of flowers.
Another view of the walls.
I don’t know what this plant is, but I love it.
This is the rose garden. Unfortunatly, its not ready to bloom, yet.
Here’s the conservatory. Its really just another name for greenhouse, but this is an especially beautiful, and really big, greenhouse. You can even see the trees inside through the windows.
Here are several photos from the greenhouses.
I have a thing for fluffy-looking plants. Don’t know why, just do.
A view of the main house from the Conservatory.
The Conservatory and greenhouses.
The stable courtyard withe stables in the background. That clock is the master clock for the entire house. George Vanderbilt insisted on a punctual household, so he installed wall clocks throughout all the servant areas. When the minute hand on this clock moved, it sent an electric pulse to all the other clocks so their minute hands moved, too. It kept the entire house synchronized.
This is the covered entrance to the right of the main entrance, near the stables. This is where carriages would come if it was raining. Behind me is another entrance to the house.
This is a view of the backyard where the servants worked. Here is where deliveries were made and where guests’ trunks would be unloaded. The farthest building is the back of the stable and the unmarried male servants all had their rooms on the second floor of the stable. To get to work, they walked down the spiral staircase in the black extension, walked across the brick courtyard, and went in the back door, which is underneath me.
Another view of the back courtyard. Notice the circles, like manholes. This house has central heating (yes, it was original to the house in 1895!). It was heated by 3 huge steam turbines that ran on coal. So, they’s take the covers off the manholes and they’d dump the coal down the shutes to the coal bins. We went on a tour of “below stairs” and saw the turbines, as well as the “Dynamo”—the machine that generated the DC current that powered all the electric lights in the house. Eventually the hosue was converted to AC power when that became the way of the world.
The gift shop in the stable was overwhelming. Too many beautiful things to even see individual things.
This wine comes in a cut glass bottle.
Here’s the house. On the right, behind the trees, is the stable. On the left you can kind of see the grape vine-covered patio. From that extends the football-sized patio. I should mention that just to the right of the main entrance is a little pointy roof. That is the Winter Garden. It’s a large area just off the entrance hall that made of glass—yes, that pointy ceiling is glass—and its full of all kinds of exotic plants and some beautiful sculptures. It is jaw-droppingly impressive. Of course, to the left of the entrance hall is that grand spiral staircase with the incredible three-story chandelier. It was overwhelming.
More of the grounds.
Yes, they have Segue tours. I kind of thought it was a joke, though, until I actually saw them.
Field of flowers.