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“CR's Victorian Mansion” 5 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: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“CR's Victorian Mansion”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2013

The mystery behind the "Hall Mansion" was revealed to us as we took the tour through the home. It is beautifully appointed according to the period of the early 1900s. There are several sets of stairs to climb. I loved the "Tiki Room" in the basement. The grounds are beautiful. Wish we'd had more time to see them all.

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

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The kids loved it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

I just took our kids for a fun afternoon visit to Brucemore. They are both 10 and loved it. We spent about an hour and a half. We arrived a little early to purchase tickets to tour the mansion and browse in the gift shop. Our tour included only 5 people and was very interesting. After touring the mansion we had some time to explore the gardens. The stories of how the home was used by different families in different times is so interesting and helps the kids to gain a little more perspective about history. On our way out we purchased a nice little booklet about Brucemore for only $4.

Visited June 2013
Thank Anne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.

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