116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Brucemore summer programming is turning outdoors while a major project is underway indoors.
The 1886 mansion at 2160 Linden Dr. SE is the second National Trust for Historic Preservation site to install a geothermal HVAC system to replace an aging boiler system. The modern system will heat and cool the house, with an eye toward environmental and preservation best practices.
The work spans the three main floors, plus attic and basement, so the mansion will be closed to tours and other indoor events. Mansion tours will resume in the fall and include the nationally recognized holiday season, which features festive decor throughout.
“This (HVAC) project addresses historic preservation, environmental sustainability, and long-term community relevance in a pioneering way that we are very proud of,” David Janssen, Brucemore’s CEO said in a news release.
“The original steam heat system from the 1880s relied on an outdated boiler and radiator technology that was inefficient, difficult to maintain, and a threat to the aging structure,” Janssen added. “In bypassing and retiring the 140-year-old pipes, the geothermal technology will allow us to improve environmental controls for our visitors and collection and mitigate many risks.”
In the meantime, the show must go on. Visitors still can experience and explore the estate this summer in a variety of ways.
• A new outdoor guided tour — “Becoming Brucemore: A Walk Through History” — Thursdays through Sundays. Guests experience the evolution of the site from a country estate into the cultural center it is today, and learn the history of the people who lived and worked on it. Tickets: $10 adults, $5 youths; advance purchase recommended.
• The landscape remains open daily for self-exploration, with a new mobile “History Ungated” tour experience expected to launch in July.
• The Visitor Center is open Thursday through Sunday afternoons, offering a free Brucemore history exhibit and souvenirs for purchase.
• Outdoor theater, concerts and other programs offer arts opportunities for all ages, from Elephant and Piggie’s “We are in a Play” in July to Music in the Courtyard in August. Check the calendar of events for details, at brucemore.org/events/month/
The geothermal project has received funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation Climate Action Grant Fund and donors to Brucemore’s Pride and Preservation campaign. To contribute to the Preservation Fund, go to brucemore.org/give/#preservation, call (319) 362-7375, or send a check to Brucemore, 2160 Linden Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.
To learn more about ongoing preservation work, derecho recovery efforts, or programming, go to brucemore.org/whats-new/