Bruce Springsteen’s childhood home in N.J. is for sale
FREEHOLD, N.J. — Much of Bruce Springsteen’s recent works, including his autobiography, Born to Run and Springsteen on Broadway, are based on his childhood experiences in his hometown of Freehold.
Now, one of his childhood homes is for sale.
The two-family home at 39 Institute St. in Freehold where the Springsteens lived from 1955 to 1962 is for sale for $269,900.
The house has been on the market for two weeks, said agent Barbara Conti of Gloria Nilson and Company Real Estate.
“It’s getting a lot of activity,” said Conti, a Freehold resident. “It’s more investors who are interested because it’s a two-family home.”
The price does not include a “Boss boost,” Conti said, which has been the case with other former Springsteen homes that have recently gone on the market. The former Springsteen bungalow in the West End Court in Long Branch where he wrote “Born to Run” sold for $94,000 last year after it originally went on sale for $299,000.
“I watched that,” Conti said. “They were crazy. This house is priced according ot the condition and what the owners can get when they rent.”
The Springsteen family lived on the left side of house, where an impressionable 7-year-old Bruce Springsteen saw Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, a moment that is highlighted in the book Born to Run and the Broadway show. The Boss posed next to a tree at 39 Institute for a photo that appeared in the Born in the U.S.A. tour book.
“People are always looking at the house. They stop and take pictures,” Conti said.
In 1969, Bruce Springsteen moved out of Freehold to Ocean Township and then subsequently to several other Jersey Shore towns en route to rock ‘n’ roll stardom as his parents and youngest sister moved to California.
“I would come back and visit these streets many, many times, rolling through them on sunny fall afternoons, on winter nights and in the deserted after-hours of summer evenings, out for a drive in my car,” Springsteen writes in Born to Run.
“I would roll down Main Street after midnight watching, waiting, for something to change. I would stare into the warmly lit rooms of the homes I passed, wondering which one was mine. Did I have one? I’d drive past the firehouse, the empty courthouse square; past my mom’s now-dark office building; past the abandoned rug mill, down Institute Street to the Nescafe plant and baseball field; past my copper beech tree, still rooted and towering in front of the emptiness that was once my grandparents’ house (on Randolph Street); past the memorial of white crosses for our fallen war heroes at the town’s end; past my dead at the St. Rose of Lima Cemetery — my grandmother, grandfather and aunt Virginia — then out to the pitch-black highways of Monmouth County.”
“This town, my town, would never leave me, and I could never completely leave it, but I would never live in Freehold again.”