Historic site, community cultural center, and so much more
Margaret Douglas Hall established a quiet but unmistakable legacy of generosity toward her community. Like her beloved husband, Howard, and her parents, George and Irene Hazeltine Douglas, Margaret actively participated in philanthropic efforts on behalf of her city and state. She made her home her final gift.
In 1981, Margaret bequeathed the Brucemore estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To ensure local control, the preservation and operation of the site is administered by Brucemore, Inc., a private non-profit governed by a local, 18-member Board of Trustees.
Brucemore has become an irreplaceable cultural hub, engaging over 43,000 people in the organization’s mission annually, including:
- Over 2,000 area elementary school students from 20 different schools tour the mansion and explore the gardens and grounds annually to learn about Cedar Rapids’ history.
- 8,000 visitors from 13 different countries, 48 states, and 83 Iowa counties tour the mansion to learn about Eastern Iowa’s heritage.
- Over 33,000 people participate in affordable cultural and heritage programming, ranging from concerts on the First Avenue lawn, outdoor theater performances in the Peggy Boyle Whitworth Amphitheater, and intimate musical performances in the mansion’s Great Hall.
- Brucemore is a community partner, resource, and accelerator for other local, non-profit organizations such as the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Orchestra Iowa, University of Iowa, and SPT Theatre
- Brucemore supports the cultural economy by providing opportunities for over 320 independent and regional performers and contracting with 65 to 80 private contractors and vendors.
Preserving and sharing this remarkable estate requires substantial financial resources. Annual preservation projects and ongoing maintenance necessitate significant capital investment. Brucemore’s financial stability depends on diversified support. Donations and annual membership gifts are fundamental to the ongoing preservation and programming of the site, representing both revenue and participation in the site’s mission.