Brucemore Recognized in Excellence in Iowa History Awards

June 27th, 2023

Brucemore received statewide recognition at the annual Excellence in Iowa History Awards presented by the State Historic Society of Iowa Board of Trustees.

On June 14, CEO David Janssen traveled to Clear Lake to participate in the award ceremony on behalf of the organization. These awards recognize individuals, organizations, and communities that make outstanding contributions to the field of Iowa history.

Brucemore received the Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Archaeology and Historic Preservation in recognition of the work completed during the multi-year Mansion Envelope Restoration Project (MERP). Work on MERP began in 2017 and was divided into five phases, each focused on stabilizing and preserving sections of the mansion exterior. This was Brucemore’s most comprehensive preservation project since becoming a National Trust site in 1981.

Facilities Manager Rachel Potthoff joined the Brucemore staff in May of 2020 as the Preservation Project Manager. Rachel’s dedicated work on the project contributed to MERP meeting the criteria for Excellence in Archaeology and Historic Preservation, including ensuring the project adhered to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

“By following best practices for historic preservation, we hope to maintain the mansion as a valuable community resource for decades to come,” Rachel said, “Working with partners who appreciate our needs helped us to meet these standards.”

Much of the work on MERP was supervised by preservation partners OPN Architects and Rinderknecht Associates, Inc. These companies have worked with Brucemore on numerous preservation projects across the estate throughout the last 40 years. Their knowledge of and commitment to working with local subcontractors enables detailed work to be completed on time and in best practice for historic preservation while keeping the economic impact of the project within Iowa.

Major preservation projects and landscape restoration are made possible by donations and grants from The Hall-Perrine Foundation, Iowa Economic Development Authority, and over 700 individuals, foundations, government agencies, and businesses who contributed to the Pride & Preservation capital campaign. This campaign launched in 2018 with the goal to fund preservation of historic assets, investment in capital infrastructure, and improvements to security and fire initiatives. After the derecho in August 2020, campaign funds were also allocated to support derecho recovery efforts and a multi-year landscape restoration process of the 26-acre estate. The fund exists today as the Preservation Fund, which continues to support sitewide projects.


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.