Brucemore’s Executive Director Receives State Leadership Award

August 23rd, 2021

David Janssen, Executive Director of Brucemore, will be recognized with the Iowa Museum Association Leadership Award at the annual conference scheduled to be held virtually on October 4, 2021.

Executive Director David Janssen plays the guitar at the Hello, Summer event in 2019.

Cynthia Sweet, Director of the Iowa Museum Association said, “The Iowa Museum Association Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the museum field. David’s contributions to the field have been diverse and exceptional. Perhaps most significantly, his leadership at Brucemore provides a model, reminding leaders to review their organization’s sustainability model and make informed changes as needed for the long-term benefit of their institution.”

David A. Janssen is a seventh-generation Iowan with 29 years’ experience in museum and historic site leadership. He earned a bachelor’s in history from Dartmouth College; a master’s in history from Duquesne University; and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. He has served as the Executive Director at Brucemore, a site owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated locally in Cedar Rapids, since January 2012. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of the Detroit Historical Society; Vice President of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan; Assistant Director of Brucemore; and as Curator of the Smith-McDowell House Museum in Asheville, North Carolina.  In 2019, David was honored with the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award by the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Under his leadership, Brucemore has amassed regional, state, and national recognition for excellence in preservation, organizational culture, collaboration, programming, and economic impact.

David’s vision and leadership has served Brucemore’s mission to inspire community interaction with history, preservation, and the arts. Since 2012, he has raised over $10 million for preservation and infrastructure improvements on the 26-acre estate, increasing the organizational budget by 90%. He has also continued to build on a 40-year reputation for creating unique programs and events to ensure Eastern Iowa is a great place to live, work, and play. Notably, in 2020, he led the organization through two crises: a global pandemic that shut down site operations for months and a natural disaster that led to over $3 million in damages across the estate. At a time when being closed may have been easier than being open, David continued to motivate staff to find value in serving the community. Brucemore rose to the top as a leader on a local, state, and national level in adapting based on pandemic restrictions, continuing to find ways to engage visitors through safe in-person and virtual programming.

Read the full nomination here.


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.

Are weapons allowed at Brucemore?

We prohibit weapons on the property and at programs to ensure the safety and security of all employees and people visiting Brucemore.