Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, United States, Iowa, USA 52403
Currently a National Trust Site. Brucemore's mission is to engage the public in the history, traditions, resources, and on-going preservation of Brucemore for the enrichment of the community.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Three families owned the Brucemore estate between 1884 and 1981 - the Sinclairs, the Douglases, and the Halls. The families of Brucemore each reflected and influenced the community in which they lived.
They were business and social leaders in a century that saw an important evolution of the Midwest. 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.
Architect Builder Engineer:
The Sinclair Era: 1884-1906
"The grandest house west of Chicago"
Caroline Sinclair's home made quite an impression in 1880s Cedar Rapids — and not just because of the $55,000 price tag.
The house sat on top of a long slope facing the main route into town, confidently demonstrating, in both size and style, the Sinclair family's status in the community.
A widow at the age of 33, Caroline Soutter Sinclair commissioned Indianapolis architect, Maximillian Allardt, to design a home for her and her children. However, during construction, Allardt returned to Indianapolis to be with his daughter who had fallen ill.
Local architects Henry Josselyn and Eugene Taylor finished the project, constructing a four-story, 21-room, Queen Anne style mansion on the ten-acre site — or, as the local newspaper described it, "the grandest house west of Chicago."
Check the links at right for detailed views and descriptions of Brucemore during the Sinclair era.Although little evidence on the interior of the Mansion during the Sinclair era exists, available information reveals that George and Irene Douglas renovated extensively when they took ownership of Brucemore.
The Queen Anne style was losing favor by the 1910s, with Victorian ornateness giving way to the more simplistic decoration style of the Edwardian Era. The Douglases altered the Mansion to reflect the increasingly popular Craftsman style.
A focus on the craft and materials led to designs featuring decorative beams and braces, porches supported by tapered square columns, and low pitched roofs.
The Douglases continued to modify the function and décor of rooms throughout their 30-year residency.
Howard and Margaret Douglas Hall lived in the Garden House on the estate after their marriage in 1924.
In 1937, Irene Douglas bequeathed Brucemore to her daughter, and the couple moved into the Mansion.
While Howard always referred to the Mansion as "your mother's house," Margaret and Howard left their modern and somtimes whimsical mark on their home.
Experience Brucemore, an unparalleled blend of tradition and culture. At the heart of the historic 26-acre estate stands a 19th-century mansion, filled with the stories of three Cedar Rapids families. Concerts, theater, programs, and tours enliven the site and celebrate the heritage of a community.