In December, Brucemore exceeded the $5 million Pride and Preservation campaign goal by raising $5.19 million. The capital campaign was launched in 2018 to allow investment in three primary areas: preserving the historic structures and landscape; upgrading sitewide infrastructure to support on-site events; and enhancing the security to protect the site and its collections. This was the organization’s first capital campaign since its founding in 1981 when the site was donated by the estate’s last owner, Margaret Douglas Hall.
“We are grateful to every individual and organization who invested in us throughout the campaign,” said Executive Director David Janssen. “We would not have been able to initiate the critical projects and preservation work we’ve begun over the last few years without this support.”
Over 700 individuals, corporations, foundations, state entities, and other organizations from across the country donated to support the non-profit’s efforts. A surge of donations in the aftermath of the August derecho pushed the campaign past its goal. Janssen said, “After seeing the extensive damage across the estate, many donors reached out and offered additional support,” said Janssen. “We designated these post-derecho gifts to landscape recovery efforts, which will be a major focus for Brucemore over the next few years.”
Major projects are already underway using campaign funds. Since 2017, work has occurred to preserve the windows and doors on three elevations of the mansion; to update the electrical infrastructure and improve security lighting across the property; and to upgrade the fencing around the perimeter. In the coming years, Brucemore will complete restoration on the final façade of the mansion and update the security systems throughout the estate, in addition to addressing the landscape restoration. This work is aligned with Brucemore’s vision to model a balance of best practices in preservation and innovative use.