Brucemore Closed, Program Adjustments

Storm Update – August 20, 2020

August 20th, 2020
Brucemore-Derecho-Damage-August-2020-16-reduced.jpgLetter from Director of Community Engagement
August 20,2020
Friends of Brucemore –
This has been a tough year for everyone.
The global pandemic has required drastic changes to how we live, work, and play for the last five months. At Brucemore, we canceled programs and were working to find new, safe ways for you to enjoy the estate.
Last week, the derecho halted these efforts and forced us to alter our plans again. The task in front of our small staff is daunting, but we’ve been working hard on recovery efforts. It is going to take months to clean up the property and years to replenish the century-old trees that were lost in the storm. But we will work relentlessly to ensure Brucemore remains a treasured community asset.
For now, the site is closed for public access while our staff focus on the most urgent and critical needs. These include clearing the roadways to allow for emergency access, removing risks to the historic structures and statuary, and eliminating overhead tree limbs that pose safety concerns. While we can’t allow you to visit yet, I know you would like a glimpse inside the gates. Our friends with de Novo Alternative Marketing put together this short aerial video of the estate, taken one week after recovery efforts began. We will share more detailed images in the days ahead.
Throughout our recovery efforts, we have felt that if we could continue to safely hold the “Unforgettable and Unplugged” and “Hair plus Product” events in the wake of COVID and the storm, we would. The talent who have invested time and energy selecting music and rehearsing need an opportunity to share their passion. The companies who support our events through equipment rental need business. You deserve a chance to get out of the house, be entertained in a safe space, and leave the challenges of 2020 behind for a few hours.  We think this is important to help the arts and cultural community survive.
We are continuing to hold these two events and would love to have you join us. You will see evidence of the devastation to the site, including trees that need removed and debris piled along the driveways.  But we guarantee, the paths will be clear and open for your travel on the site and the COVID safety precautions will be thoughtfully maintained. The audience space will reflect some of the damage, but the tables will be spatially distanced for you to spend an evening outdoors with your own group of family or close friends. The rest of the property will remain closed.
Staff are actively working to reach out to ticket holders for the weekends that were postponed to reschedule your tickets. You may also email us with the date you are interested in and we will confirm availability.
My thoughts are with you through your own recovery efforts. As always, I appreciate hearing from you and our staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to reply to contact us via email.
Tara Richards
Director of Community Engagement


Do I need to pay to enter the estate and walk on the grounds?

No. Visiting the Brucemore estate during grounds hours is free. Tickets are only required for scheduled tours and events, and they can be purchased in advance online.

Is a reservation needed to visit Brucemore?

You do not need a reservation to visit the grounds on your own. You do need a ticket to go inside the mansion. We recommend advance reservations for any of our mansion tours or other scheduled special themed tours due to limited capacity. Please visit our calendar to see upcoming opportunities and to purchase your tickets.

Touring the Mansion

Can I take pictures inside the mansion?

Yes. Photography is allowed during tours for personal, non-professional use. Tripods, selfie-sticks, or other photography equipment will not be permitted. Photographs should not distract from others’ enjoyment.

How large is the mansion?

Brucemore is approximately 15,000 square feet.

How many fireplaces, rooms, and floors does Brucemore have?

There are 21 “main” rooms, 14 fireplaces and four floors plus an attic.

Is all of the furniture original to the house and families?

Much of the furniture you will see on display belonged to the second or third families to live at Brucemore; however, some pieces had to be replaced with replicas or similar antiques.

Is the mansion handicap accessible?

The Brucemore mansion includes multiple floors and several staircases. Because of the historic architecture, some spaces are not accessible. Due to preservation work, the wheelchair lift that offers accessibility to the first floor is not available at this time. An elevator is not available from the first floor to the other floors at any time. Learn more about accessibility at Brucemore.

Group and School Tours

Is there an age requirement for students visiting Brucemore?

You do not have to be a certain age to visit or attend a program at Brucemore. Different programs are best suited for different ages. Tours of the mansion are recommended for 4th grade and older due to the concepts and historic collection.

Where do we park?

Parking is available on site a short walk from the mansion or carriage house. Buses must follow special instructions. Large events may not be able to accommodate on-site parking; please see the event calendar information for exceptions.

Is bus parking available?

Yes. Bus parking is available near the carriage house. Buses must arrive via special directions as they are unable to fit in our historic gates.

Is there a lunch area at Brucemore?

There is not a designated area indoors or outdoors to eat; however, you are welcome to bring your own blanket or chair to picnic on the grounds. Please carry out any trash to help our small staff keep the grounds beautiful.

Does my group have to arrive together?

Please let group members or chaperones know where they can meet the group.

What is your payment policy?

Brucemore admission is to be paid prior to the visit and a deposit may be required. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card and should be paid in one sum.

Do I need to make an appointment to tour the mansion?

You must have a ticket to a tour or program inside the mansion. Many tours do sell out in advance; purchase online or by calling 319-362-7375 in advance of your visit to guarantee your spot. See the schedule here.

Is the mansion wheelchair accessible?

The mansion is not currently accessible to wheelchairs due to preservation work. The mansion includes multiple flights of stairs. Most of the outdoor areas of the site are accessible. See our full accessibility information and contact us with additional questions regarding your visit.

Can I walk on the property?

Yes, the grounds and gardens are open daily most of the year. Several self-guided interpretive panels and tours via QR codes are available. See hours here.

What is Brucemore’s ticket policy?

Tickets are non-refundable, but may be rescheduled for comparable programs as space allows. Learn more.

I’m attending a large event at Brucemore. Where do I park?

Large events may require you to park offsite. Please read the event details on the calendar for specific information for each event.