Built in 1880, the house was a carriage house and servants quarters owned by Ezra Cornell, the founder of the University. In 1912, Edward Amherst Ott and his wife bought the house from Mary E. Cornell and Emma C. Blair and remodeled it during 1923-1925.
In 1933, “Dr.” Ott and Alva L. Tompkins, head of Cornell United Religious Works, developed a cooperative living association which was incorporated November 30, 1937 as the Llenroc Lodge Association. Ott earned the title “Dr.” as a result of a lecture tour he gave throughout the Southern U.S. during 1920. He was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1867. He attended Hiram College and studied English at Drake University in Iowa. He later became President of Ott School in Chicago and was well known as a Lyceum (English Educators Organization) lecturer.
The novelty of the cooperative idea drew attention from the newspapers of the day. Indeed, it was considered an honor to be selected as a member of the Lodge. The dining room was organized the same year and was known as the Llenroc Dining Association, Inc --- A separate entity from the house, but serving house members only. In 1934, the dining room was opened to the public and at times served as many as 125 people.
On March 29th, 1938 the house was turned over to the students. In return, two stipulations were made with Dr. Ott: Ott was to receive an annuity when he retired, and Ott was to be advisor as long as he wished. In 1939, a group of senior students who disagreed with the house liquor rules (this was a dry house until 1971) broke away and formed Algonquin Lodge (located on Stewart Ave). On July 22, 1940, at the request of Delta Phi, also known as Llenroc Lodge, the name was changed to Cayuga Student Residence Association. In 1955, the name was changed again to the now familiar Cayuga Lodge. Inc.