The LeRoyan at Mercy Grove has recently been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places and preserves the rich history of the Donald Woodward family, heirs to the great Jell-O fortunes. The home was designed by the noted architectural firm of Arnold and Stern and was completed in 1928. Its many lavish amenities include a 1926 four-story Aeolion pipe organ, which is one of only several in the world in original condition. A remarkable hand-printed dining room wallpaper attributed to Charles Burchfield is valued in excess of $400,000 and is the only one of its kind remaining in the world.
In 1947, Donald’s brother Ernest bought the home and donated it to the University of Rochester to be used as a residential facility for children with neuromuscular disabilities. It was known as the Edith Hartwell Clinic, and was named for Ernest Woodward’s wife. Later, it housed the Sisters of Mercy and was then purchased by the Mercedian Fathers of Our Lady of Mercy.
Current owner and local businessman Jim Gomborone purchased and began restoring the estate in 2015. His mission has been to restore the home and grounds to its original splendor complete with modern amenities.