Brucemore Awarded Historical Tax Credit

September 22nd, 2022
Brucemore Mansion

Brucemore was awarded $592,296 through the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in August to support derecho recovery efforts. The estate sustained $3 million of damage from the derecho windstorm that swept across the Midwest with 140-plus mile per hour winds on August 10, 2020. All seven of the historic structures, two operational buildings, hundreds of yards of fencing, multiple gates, and several historical features were damaged during the 60 minutes of violent sustained straight-line winds.

“The 2020 derecho caused the worst one-day loss of a cultural landscape in the history of the United States,” said CEO David Janssen. “With the support of the community, and local and state organizations, we have been working hard to recover. The Historical Preservation Tax Credit will allow us to make great strides in ensuring Brucemore remains a vibrant cultural hub for future generations.”

Progress has been evident throughout the estate since the days following the storm. Several notable projects will be completed in the fall of 2022 or spring of 2023, including:

  • The Lord & Burnham Greenhouse restoration is near completion. The glasshouse and nearby cold frames had been destroyed from a tree falling on the structure.
Lord and Burnham Greenhouse and cold frames August 2020.
Lord and Burnham Greenhouse and cold frames June 2022 (two years after the storm).
  • The mansion’s northeast-facing Breakfast Porch restoration and reframing is on track to be completed within this year’s construction season. This includes design improvements to help withstand the potential of damage in future storms.
  • The historic gates and lights at the Linden Drive entrance and First Avenue exit are undergoing conservation and are expected to be reinstalled this fall. The piers at First Avenue are also undergoing treatment to prevent water infiltration issues in the future.  
  • The mansion slate roof is scheduled to be replaced in the spring of 2023 with the roof crests that were removed as part of the Mansion Envelope Restoration Project reinstalled shortly thereafter.

As living landmark for Cedar Rapids dating back to the late 1880s, Brucemore has shared its history and estate with over a million visitors since 1981 when it became an independent non-profit. For more information on ways, you can support Brucemore’s mission to remain a cultural hub and continue to share the historic site for future generations, click here.

Brucemore Mansion and formal garden, 2022.

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, administered by the Iowa Department of Economics in partnership with the State Historical Preservation Office, provides a state income tax credit to support projects to retain the character defining features of the building to enhance the surrounding communities. Learn more about the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.


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.