Author, lecturer, and entrepreneur Elbert Hubbard began to develop the Roycroft Campus in 1897. The Campus in East Aurora became a Mecca for master craftsmen and a gathering place for notable artists, authors, philosophers, and power brokers in U.S. history.
The Campus, designated a National Historic Landmark district (NHL) in 1986, contains 14 structures including the Inn, the Chapel, the Print Shop, the Furniture Shop, and the Copper Shop, to name a few. The Campus began to fall into disrepair over time and by 1989, was placed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation on its 11 Most Endangered Places list of historic properties that are severely at risk. The Inn was fully restored and reopened in 1995, but the remainder of the Campus has continued to deteriorate significantly since that time. Over the last two decades, one building (the Powerhouse) has been reduced to a ruin, large portions of two buildings (the Furniture Shop and the Garages) have been lost, and historic features of other buildings have been removed or compromised. The threat to the historic integrity of the campus as a whole is real and imminent.