A By-The-Numbers Look at American Real Estate | History | Smithsonian
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A By-The-Numbers Look at American Real Estate

An index to houses great and small over the centuries

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1,000: Approximate age, in years, of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the United States: pueblos in Acoma and Taos, New Mexico, and the village of Oraibi, Arizona

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375: Approximate age, in years, of Fairbanks House, in Dedham, Mass., believed to be the nation’s oldest timber-frame house

1,297: Square footage of Fairbanks House when new

1,740: Square footage of average new house in the U.S., 1980

2,392: Square footage of average new house, 2010

175,000: Square footage of Biltmore, in Asheville, North Carolina, the largest privately owned U.S. residence

3: Number of people in the immediate family of original Biltmore owner George Washington Vanderbilt III

1.1 million: Visitors to Biltmore, the nation’s most popular house, 2011

1.06 million: Visitors to Mount Vernon, Virginia home of George Washington, 2011

1: Number of times Washington said he would “rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world”

About T.A. Frail
T.A. Frail

Tom Frail is a senior editor for Smithsonian magazine. He previously worked as a senior editor for the Washington Post and for Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

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