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“Beautiful home!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Brucemore

Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Three families owned the Brucemore estate between 1884 and 1981-the Sinclairs, the Douglases, and the Halls. They were business and community leaders during a century of evolution in the Midwest. Caroline Sinclair, widow of pioneer industrialist T.M. Sinclair and mother of six, hired architects Josselyn and Taylor to build the mansion for $55,000 in 1884. In 1906, George Bruce Douglas, of the Quaker Oats and Douglas & Company fortunes, acquired the home with his wife, Irene, transforming the property into a country estate they named Brucemore. In 1937, their daughter, Margaret, inherited Brucemore with her husband, Howard Hall, founder of Iowa Manufacturing and Iowa Steel and Ironworks. The Halls added flair to the estate with famous guests, including Presidents Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman and their exotic pet lion, Leo. Today, Brucemore's 26-acre, park-like estate invites exploration of the site's history, gardens, grounds, and 21-room mansion through a variety of opportunities. The Queen Anne architecture, 1925 Grant Wood Porch, 1929 Skinner pipe organ, and 1930s Grizzly Bar and Tahitian Room reflect the vibrant history of remarkable people. The changes they made to their estate, the impact they had on their community, and the stories they left behind shape our understanding of modern Cedar Rapids, eastern Iowa, and the American Midwest.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful home!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

The Brucemore mansion has been the home of several wealthy families over the years. The tour guides were very knowledgeable about the history of the families and the home. Flower gardens were beautiful. Plan to spend at least a couple hours enjoying this beautifully restored mansion.

Visited June 2013
Thank NotEnoughMaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Awesome Man Cave”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

Visiting here is worth it just to see the basement. It was super cool. I tell everyone about it. I only wish I could've taken pictures.

Visited November 2012
Thank Deborah1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
43 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Never disappointing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

I've visited Brucemore over the years, and I must say that I come away with a different experience each time. When I first visited it as a 12-year-old girl, I was amazed at how big a "house" could be and wondered what the children played while growing-up. When I revisited it as a late teen, I loved the outdoor grounds and their summer jazz festival, which brings hundreds of visitors each year. Now as a mother of two children, it's incredible to learn about the family's history, how they entertained distinguished guests, and the renovations that reflected the time in society. I now see the amazement in my children that I had at a young age. My daughter is especially keen on the nursery room, my son is enthralled with the kitchen, and my husband is amazed that the owner had two lions while living at Brucemore! This is a must see, and it's certainly a great way to pass along history to your own children.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank DivaNicole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
71 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Beautiful place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

Beautiful grounds. Great historic place to visit. Events are well organized. Parking is hard unless you plan ahead or take advantage of the shuttles when they offer them.

Thank Cindirae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion, Iowa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Brucemore is AMAZING!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

Brucemore is an amazing mansion in Cedar Rapids. The grounds are beautiful and the family that built it is full of such history that you have to take the tour to really appreciate the site! Can't wait to see it again! :)

Thank Alycia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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