||This article relies entirely upon a single source, the National Register Information System (NRIS) database or one of its mirrors. Articles based solely on the NRIS may contain errors. (November 2013)|
|Location||Ithaca, New York|
|Architect||Nichols & Brown|
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||80002781|
|Added to NRHP||April 16, 1980|
Llenroc, or the villa of Ezra Cornell, was constructed between 1865 and 1875. Designed as Ithaca's finest residence, it is an outstanding and exceptionally well-preserved example of high style masonry Gothic Revival architecture.
The house is constructed of Llenroc limestone, hauled from a quarry just west of White Hall on Cornell University's campus. Artisans from around the world created the many elaborate fixtures of the house including: English woodcarvers responsible for the carved interior molding on the first and second floor and stonemasons from Germany completed the exterior stonework. Irish, Scottish, Italian, and Indian craftsmen also made significant contributions. Eight complete marble fireplaces were also imported from Europe to be placed throughout the house.
Sadly, Ezra Cornell died in 1874 as the house neared completion. Llenroc remained in the Cornell family's possession until 1911, when the house was purchased from the family by the Delta Phi fraternity. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
According to The History of Llenroc and Pi Chapter, construction on Llenroc began in 1867. Ezra Cornell hired an Albany firm, Nichols and Brown, to design the plan for the house, which borrowed heavily from rural Gothic Villa and High Victorian Gothic styles of architecture. Cornell was also forced to open a rock quarry to acquire grey Lockport limestone (colloquially known as Llenroc limestone) with which to build the house.
German artisans were commissioned to carve elaborate designs into the limestone, while English artisans were hired to carve the woodwork for the house. Irish, Scottish, Italian and Indian immigrants, were employed as laborers for the construction project.
The house has 17 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (one large bathroom to accommodate the house’s many residents). Up to 26 people may make their residence at the house at any one time.
Since the initial construction, a number of renovations have been carried out. In 1946, a major overhaul of the house was performed, during which time the house’s basement was converted into a living area, complete with a bar. In 1955, a garage was erected adjacent to the house (although it was subsequently torn down). In 1967, the upstairs bathroom was renovated. In 2007, the kitchen was renovated.
There are a number of notable aspects to the Llenroc property, other than the actual house. In 1925, the Delta Phi Memorial Staircase, at the southernmost extreme of the property, was donated to the Delta Phi Fraternity by Arthur Baldwin in commemoration of his son, Morgan Smiley Baldwin, who was killed in World War I. The property also boasts tennis and basketball courts on its 2.34 acres (9,500 m2) of land. Inside the house, hand-made twin chandeliers hang in downstairs living spaces, in the living and music rooms.
The Pi chapter of the Delta Phi Fraternity was founded in 1891 on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. After a brief stint in downtown Ithaca at 405 East State Street, the brotherhood moved to 515 Stewart Avenue. In 1911, the brotherhood made its last move, into the current residence of the Pi Chapter: Llenroc .
- Llenroc is Cornell spelled backwards.
- Ezra Cornell had the phrase "True and Firm" carved over the entryway to Llenroc at the suggestion of Andrew Dickson White, the co-founder and first President of Cornell University.
- Llenroc website
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. NY-5727, "Cornell University, Llenroc, 100 Cornell Avenue, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY", 20 photos, 1 photo caption page
- National Register of Historic Places: Tompkins County, NY