The landscape of America is as much spread out as it is diverse. It is a young country, compared to the rest of the world, but still has a distinct style and flavor. Across each state there are homes and buildings (open for public tours) that reflect the unique qualities that help up this country.
• Mark Twain is an icon of the steamboat era. He helped define the culture of this nation, capturing the spirit, the character, the dialect, and even the heart of this diverse country. The Mark Twain home is also a tribute to diversity – with no two gables exactly alike. It was filled with all the new technologies (of the time) including the telephone. In addition to touring the home, you can also visit the Museum. It is a glimpse into America’s past and a hope for the future.
• The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Caroline, was built by George Vanderbilt as a way to bring friends and family together to celebrate life and to give him a place to pursue his passions for art, literature, and horticulture. This 250 room family home and summer retreat is one of America’s only true castles. The structure covers four acres and was built over a six-year period. The 125,000 acre estate and has acres of gardens, park lands, and America’s first managed forest.
• Longwood, in Natchez, Mississippi, would have been one of the greatest structures in the United States. First started in 1860, construction on the eight-sided castle was halted by the devastating division of the country – the Civil War. Instead of being a tribute to the Muslim architecture of the east, the home be came a testament to the destruction of the South. Only nine of the planned thirty-two rooms were created. The war left Dr. Haller Nutt (a northern sympathizer) a broken man as millions of dollars in cotton were burned or confiscated by the Union soldiers.
• Westbury House in Old Westbury, New York is a testament to true love and a tribute to English architecture. John Shaffer promised his English wife a proper English country home (complete with English gardens) if she would move to America. Not only is the house magnificent, but 70 of the 200 acre estate is elaborately landscaped. It truly captures the authenticity of the English style and is often used as the setting for American movies set in England.
The United States is filled with homes that show the diversity of the settlers, their determination, and the events that sculpted the nation. Every state has a unique structure just waiting for you to come and explore.