History

 A Hidden Treasure in the Heartland 

A century of architectural history

Completed in 1909 by D.C. Bradley, a local businessman and banker, Bradley Hall has been an iconic landmark in Southern Iowa ever since.

Originally costing $100,000—$2.6 million in today’s dollars—the home covers 10,000 square feet and includes 22 ornately decorated rooms. With a prime location along Centerville, Iowa’s “Gold Coast” area, the Bradley home was a social center of Centerville, complete with a ballroom on the third floor.

Inside, Bradley Hall is full of historical treasures. Painstaking detail has gone into maintaining the beautiful stained glass and leaded glass windows, mahogany paneled walls, cut-glass-candelabra, mosaic tile and hardwood floors, cedar-lined closets, and Corinthian columns. French doors, four fireplaces, mahogany-railed grand staircase, and frescoed ceilings were built to impress.

Outside, the carriage house is reminiscent of horse-drawn carriages filled with family and friends arriving under the portico. In its day, the home’s grounds featured large formal gardens with masses of flowers and ornamental trees. Today, guests are still welcome to stroll the grounds or sit on the front porch and enjoy a coffee.

Recent history and ongoing mission

Through the years, the Bradley mansion served as a private residence, nursing home, classrooms for college and elementary students, and administrative offices for the Centerville Community Schools. In 1998, Morgan Cline, an East coast advertising executive with local roots, purchased the house from the school district.

Cline spent six months carefully restoring and refurbishing Bradley Hall. Mr. Cline’s philanthropic vision of Bradley Hall was to preserve it indefinitely. To do this, he knew he had to develop a sustainable business model. Something that would generate income and provide a service while allowing people to enjoy the home for years to come.

Thus, evolved The Shoppes at Bradley Hall. Featuring over 40 local vendors, The Shoppes at Bradley Hall is committed to supporting area entrepreneurs while preserving a historical icon. We are proud that a number of Bradley Hall vendors have gone on to open their own businesses in Centerville’s Courthouse Square Historic District. Thanks in part to them, our square is a shopping destination in its own right.

Tours

Our staff are well-versed in the history of Bradley Hall. They are happy to answer any questions you may have during your visit. For large groups or special tours, we encourage you to contact us in advance.