In 1985, the State of Florida purchased The Grove from the Collins for $2,285,000. Under the terms of that agreement, LeRoy and Mary Call were allowed to stay in the home for the remainder of their lives, paying $18,000 in annual rent to the State of Florida.
The home reverted to the state upon their death and is undergoing renovations to be converted into a multipurpose historic house museum for the citizens of Florida.
Mary Call Darby Collins died in 2009, preceded by LeRoy's death in 1991.
Extensive structural and cosmetic restorations are taking place at The Grove. The Grove is being renovated with the goal of obtaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Plans for the future of The Grove include classroom space, exhibits highlighting the periods of ownership by the Call and Collins families and preservation workshops.
The goals for restoration work at The Grove are adaptive re-use and economic and environmental sustainability. For example, drainage pipes will be rerouted to the original cistern providing irrigation for The Grove without the use of city water.
Image Number: DG00363
Image Number: DG00387
Image Number: DG00361
The Grove is an example of Greek Revival architecture with Federal and Georgian influences evident in the floor plan. The architectural and historical significance of The Grove was formally recognized in 1972, when the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite some alterations, the architectural design of The Grove has retained the character envisioned by Richard Keith Call.
The only substantial additions to the home during the Collins era were the glass Florida room on the rear of the building and an adjacent modern kitchen.
Additions made by Reinette Long while she operated the Grove Hotel have been removed. Other significant changes have been made periodically to the stairs on the south entrance of the home facing Adams Street.
Image Number: DG00372
Archeological work has unearthed many artifacts on the property including toys, glass bottles, dishes and other household items.
Archeologists found a set of dog tags belonging to Second Lieutenant Joseph G. Azat of Pennsylvania in the cistern. How the dog tags arrived at The Grove remains a mystery, as little evidence exists to connect LeRoy Collins to Lt. Azat.
Research by Dr. Robert Krause, site manager at The Grove, confirmed that Azat trained at Eglin Air Force Base west of Tallahassee and may have visited The Grove during leave time. He was likely drawn to the Capitol City by the presence of the Florida State College for Women.
Image Number: DG00378
Image Number: DG00377
Image Number: DG00376
Image Number: DG00369