Our great nation has brought us many cultural masterpieces. From Grant Wood’s American Gothic to the creation of the iPhone, there’s no telling what Americans can produce. We’re constantly pushing the boundaries of mixing science and engineering with art and creativity. One important way that these differing mindsets intersect is through architecture. Over the years, there have been some elegant, ingenious and artistic homes and properties constructed in the U.S. and many of them are still around. Today, these homes are regarded as some of the most amazing houses in America! Here are 5 must-visit homes in the U.S.
*At the time of print all of these locations are temporarily closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Please check recommendations on cdc.gov before considering traveling.
1. BILTMORE ESTATE, Asheville, North Carolina
According to the official Biltmore Estate website, George Vanderbilt began construction in 1889 and it was completed in 1895. The estate is massive, with 250 rooms in the main building and lush gardens overlooking the surrounding mountainous landscape. Back when Vanderbilt purchased the land for Biltmore, he actually acquired 125,000 acres for his country estate. Now, the estate has grown to be a local attraction and includes a hotel, parks, a winery, shops and much more!
Virtual tours available at biltmore.com.
2. FALLINGWATER, Mill Run, Pennsylvania
You may recognize the Fallingwater house as a famous art installment from Frank Lloyd Wright, but did you know you can actually visit it? Millions of people have come to visit the Fallingwater house since it’s completion in 1939. It was actually commissioned by Edgar Kaufmann to be a weekend home for his family. Wright created the home in the style of organic and utilitarian architecture with just a one-room interior. The exterior of the home resembles rock formations and the name Fallingwater comes from the waterfall that flows along one side of the home into the stream it overlooks.
For more information, visit fallingwater.org.
3. TAOS PUEBLO, Taos, New Mexico
The Taos Pueblo represents the amazing longevity of the Native American culture among the Taos people. According to the Taos Pueblo website, the home is a multi-storied building made from adobe and has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years. The main parts of the house are believed to have been constructed sometime between 1000 and 1450 A.D. Approximately 150 Taos people live in the Taos Pueblo at any given time.
For more information, visit taospueblo.com.
4. THE PHILIP JOHNSON GLASS HOUSE, New Canaan, Connecticut
The Glass House was built by architect Philip Johnson as an example of modern and minimal art, structure and reflection. It was completed in 1949 and is a part of the National Trust Historic Site along with 13 other structures and exhibits. According to the Glass House website, the house features floor-to-ceiling glass panels around the entire perimeter of the house that are held in place by steel stops and black-painted steel piers of stock H-beams. It hadn’t been modified in 70 years until the summer of 2019 when two of the panels began to crack due to thermal stress and temperature change. The glass has since been replaced and repaired back to its former glory.
For more information, visit theglasshouse.org.
5. HEARST CASTLE, San Simeon, California
In 1919, George Hearst began constructing the Hearst Castle with purchased and inherited land that ended up equalling about 250,000 acres. According to the Hearst Castle website, architect Julia Morgan helped bring Hearst’s vision to life, complete with 165 rooms and 123 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways—all built to Hearst’s specifications and created to show off their legendary art collection. Similar to the Biltmore Estate, the Hearst Castle that was once an elegant home for the Hearst family, is now an attraction for all to come and experience over 25 thousand artifacts that it holds.
For more information, visit hearstcastle.org.