Suggested Reading List
Lady on the Hill: How Biltmore Estate Became an American Icon
Author: Howard E. Covington Jr. and The Biltmore Company
Description: "What William Cecil has accomplished at Biltmore Estate is one of the great preservation success stories of all time. He has set a high standard for what all historic house museums strive for: magnificently preserved buildings and grounds, engaging interpretation, and--perhaps most challenging of all--economic self-sufficiency. It is no surprise that Biltmore Estate is widely recognized as one of America's finest places to visit."
--Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
"Biltmore is a glorious national historic landmark that, through creative vision and entrepreneurial management, preserves and provides insight into a way of life in the early 1900s. Bill is the imaginative and multifaceted leader who has built this great monument to enrich his community. George and I admire his dedication and success."
--George and Abby Rockefeller O'Neill
"Bill Cecil and his team at Biltmore Estate have sure proved that they know how to build a successful business. They did it the old-fashioned way: embrace a bold idea that others said could not be done and--through commitment, determination, and hard work--bring it to life. Their achievement against the odds is inspiring, and their vision and perseverance are valuable lessons to us all."
--Don Logan, Chairman, Media & Communications Group, Time Warner
"If George Vanderbilt did nothing more than engage the two most prominent and storied designers of their time, architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, to carry out his vision of a European estate in the southern Appalachians, he would have created an American icon. The beauty of the method by which the estate was executed and, even today, the meticulous attention to detail, in the presentation and care of the estate by William Cecil, have brought history to life."
--Gary J. Walters, Chief Usher, The White House
Asheville's Historic Architecture (NC) [Paperback]
Author: Richard Hansley
Description: Asheville, known for its architectural diversity and intriguing Art Deco style, has been fortunate in attracting brilliant architects who, with imaginative foresight and design expertise, have created lasting testaments in brick and stone. Local architectural enthusiast Richard Hansley recounts the history behind dozens of Asheville's most prominent buildings and historical neighborhoods in Asheville's Historic Architecture. Discover how Douglas Ellington, Richard Sharp Smith, James Vester Miller and Tony Lord influenced this busy metropolis, as landmarks like the Jackson Building, the Grove Park Inn and the Art Deco City Building were constructed along the city's thriving streets. These buildings have stood the test of time and remain as breathtaking in concept and appearance today as when first completed.
Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History
Author: Anne Mitchell Whisnant
Description: The most visited park in the National Parks system, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway winds along the ridges of the Appalachian mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. According to popular myth, the Parkway was a New Deal "Godsend for the needy," built without conflict or opposition by landscape architects and planners who traced their uniform vision along a scenic, isolated southern landscape. The historical archives relating to this massive public project, however, tell a different story, which Anne Mitchell Whisnant relates in this history of the seventy-year development of the beloved roadway. Highlighting the roles of key players and stakeholders, Whisnant explores the design and routing of the road; relations among landowners, business interests, and government agencies; environmental impacts; and historical and cultural representation and interpretation. She reveals what the Parkway's seemingly unruffled scenery tends to obscure: the road owes its appearance as much to the negotiated resolution of conflicts as it does to the natural features of the mountains or the work of landscape designers. Whisnant concludes that our debates over how best to preserve and manage the Parkway for the public good within a changing regional and national context will continue for some time to come.