As an Olmsted 200 Honorary Committee member, Diana “Dini” Cecil Pickering represents the fourth generation of the Vanderbilt family at Biltmore. Her great grandfather George Vanderbilt commissioned the now-iconic family estate in Asheville, North Carolina, seeing to it that landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the grounds.
“I grew up knowing about the significant collaboration between George Vanderbilt, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Richard Morris Hunt, who created Biltmore,” said Dini. “Their legacies live on in our family and business, and we are forever grateful for their lasting contributions to our country.”
While Olmsted’s work at Biltmore was significant, Dini feels that the grounds often attract less attention than the estate’s impressive structures. This presents her with the opportunity to educate guests on FLO’s landscape and legacy, particularly during the Olmsted 200 celebration.
In honor of Olmsted’s 200th birthday, Biltmore has created a series of interpretive signs for the scenic locations across the historic gardens and grounds. To learn more about these scenic stops, see the video above or visit our calendar here.
Dini recently joined Olmsted 200 in New York City for the National Association for Olmsted Parks’ Olmsted Birthday Gala. Thanks to her generosity, guests toasted Olmsted on his 200th with Biltmore Estate®Blanc de Noir, grown at Biltmore, Olmsted’s last project. Dini also attended the Inspired by Olmsted concert at Riverside Church, which featured carillon compositions dedicated to Biltmore. After the event, she had the rare opportunity to test-drive the carillon herself.