Newly Planted Trees with the Mansion in the Distance
Our Story

Landscape Restoration

Progress is visible across the estate as Brucemore undergoes a multi-year effort to revitalize the nationally significant buildings and landscape following a natural disaster in 2020.

Help Brucemore re-establish the flowers, shrubs, bushes, and trees by donating to the garden and landscape restoration. Donate today.


A Community of Support

Donations big and small have made the progress towards revitalizing the landscape possible. A special thank you to the following companies and organizations for their support of landscape restoration:

Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids Garden Club, City of Cedar Rapids Hotel-Motel Tax Fund, Collins Aerospace Charitable Giving, Emergency Grant Fund and the Nonprofit Recovery Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Historic Sites Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, International Paper Foundation-Cedar River Mill, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs-Derecho Recovery Emergency Relief Grant, Linn County Historic Preservation Grant Fund, Marge and Joe Grills Fund for Historic Gardens and Landscapes of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, McIntyre Foundation, Monarch Research Project “Planting Forward”, New Leader Manufacturing – Spreading Good 380, and Trees Forever.

Learn more about the history of the landscape throughout time.


An Inland Hurricane

On August 10, 2020, a powerful windstorm known as a derecho swept across the Midwest. The derecho reached hurricane-like windspeeds of up to 140 miles per hour and earned the distinction of being the most expensive thunderstorm in United States history.

The 26-acre Brucemore estate suffered damage to all seven historic buildings, two operational buildings, hundreds of yards of fencing, multiple gates, and several historic features. The violent, sustained force of the straight-line winds destroyed more than 70% of the estate’s tree canopy. This devastation immediately and fundamentally changed the view of the landscape.

Arrow Video Tour Two Weeks Later Arrow Video Tour Six Months Later Arrow Video Tour Two Years Later

A Multi-Year Recovery Effort

Brucemore sustained an estimated $3 million in overall damage across the structures and landscape. Experts believe the devastation was among the worst suffered by a cultural landscape in the last century.

Staff spent the first year following the storm assessing previous landscape plans, conducting original archival research, and working with expert assistance to develop a Historic Landscape Master Plan to inform future replanting efforts with the national significance of the landscape in mind.

The responsibility to preserve the estate offers an opportunity to restore it in a way that enhances the impact it makes in our lives. Through resilience, courage, and community support, Brucemore will maintain its living connection to a century of history and continue to benefit Iowa residents and visitors.

Arrow Restoring a Vision: Part 1 Arrow Restoring a Vision: Part 2