Created By: Ithaca Heritage
Built between 1867 and 1875 for Ezra Cornell and his family, Llenroc ("Cornell" spelled backwards) was originally known as "The Villa" or "Villa Cornell." It was constructed with local limestone in the Gothic Revival style. Unfortunately, Ezra died in 1874 just as construction was near completion. His wife, Mary Ann Wood Cornell (1811-1891), and family lived there for 32 years. The words "True and Firm" are engraved over the entrance, as suggested by Cornell University co-founder Andrew Dickson White. The home was sold in 1911 to the Delta Phi fraternity.
Noting that The Nook and Forest Park and so many of the buildings associated with Ezra Cornell's life had been torn down, local historian Carol U. Sisler pointed out that "only the house in which he never slept has been saved." "Cornell, the man," she argued, "lacked an advocate. In people's minds, was the man absorbed into the educational institution which bears his name? Did it stand as his living monument, thereby giving no urgency to the orderly preservation of his life's record? It is at least one hypothesis."
Llenroc is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Ezra Cornell Historic Tour