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Brucemore, Cedar Rapids

4.7
#2 of 27 in Things to do in Cedar Rapids
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Landmark
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Brucemore, a park-like, 26-acre (110,000 m2) estate in the heart of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the site of a Queen Anne-style mansion, formal gardens, a children's garden, night garden, pond, orchard, and woodland. Built between 1884 and 1886 by Caroline Sinclair, widow of pioneer industrialist T.M. Sinclair, Brucemore has been home to three prominent families who used the estate as a center for culture and the arts. Brucemore, whose name alludes to the Scottish moors of the second owner's ancestral home, is Iowa's only National Trust Historic Site and is preserved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in co-stewardship with Brucemore, Inc. Under the name of the T.M. Sinclair Mansion, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion has three stories, and contains twenty-one rooms. Distinctive features include a steeply gabled roof, five chimneys, and several turrets.

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Brucemore reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
267 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We went in February and ended up with a private tour! Aside from the beautiful home, the history behind it is very interesting. Loved our experience here. Although the down side was that it wasn't....  more
    We went in February and ended up with a private tour! Aside from the beautiful home, the history behind it is very interesting. Loved our experience here. Although the down side was that it wasn't....  more »
  • Well preserved view into life for Cedar Rapids' wealthy in the late 1800s into the early 1900s. The house and grounds are well worth the visit...bring a picnic lunch and gardens. 
    Well preserved view into life for Cedar Rapids' wealthy in the late 1800s into the early 1900s. The house and grounds are well worth the visit...bring a picnic lunch and gardens.  more »
Google
  • Brucemore is a lovely 19th. Century mansion. It contains original art and architectural details by Grant Wood. Especially charming is a small fresco on an upstairs sleeping porch. There is a great deal of beautiful woodwork in the main hall and reception rooms. Be sure to look up, to see the Classical-themed mural that borders the walls there. Most of the furnishings and domestic items are original to the house. The remainder are authentic period items. Keep an eye out, and you will discover a link to the Titanic tragedy. During this Christmas season, the home boasts 14 holiday trees, as well as many other seasonal decorations. In the growing season, the gardens are open to the public with no fee. The grounds are still recovering from the 2020 derrecho, so you will see many newly planted trees; but many large, mature trees survived. Brucemore is a great destination for adult lovers of history, art, and architecture. Because it is a "hands-off" museum, families with children may prefer to visit only the gardens. (12/2021)
  • Excellent tour with emphasis on the generations of women who made the mansion the showpiece that it is. The guide was very knowledgeable and engaging.

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