Bruce Springsteen Fans Buy His 1920 House

Bruce Springsteen rented this 1920 bungalow in Long Branch, N.J., from 1974 to 1975.

Credit: Monmouth County

Three New Jersey residents have chipped in to buy the tiny bungalow where Bruce Springsteen composed "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road" in the 1970s.

Kim McDermott, her brother, Gerard Ferrara, and family friend Ryan DeCarolis bought the house for $280,000 on Dec. 15. There was no immediate threat to the 828-square-foot house in Long Branch, N.J., but the three self-professed "Bruce groupies" feared that another buyer could redevelop the lot, which is zoned for both residential and commercial use.

"It's one of the last buildings in the area that has not been renovated. The fear [of demolition] was there in our minds," McDermott says. "Whoever the other [potential buyers] were, I do not think they were all Bruce fans with interest in preserving the house."

The two-bedroom bungalow dates to 1920, according to Monmouth County tax records. Springsteen lived there as a tenant in 1975, the year he gained widespread attention from the national media.

McDermott, her brother, and DeCarolis have a lot of work to do on their new house before DeCarolis moves in. "It's in very bad shape, truth be told. We do have plans of restoring it rather than renovating it. We want to restore it to something with an older Jersey beach feel, without living in a house from the 70s with a shag carpet."

For more photos, stories, and tips, subscribe to the print edition of Preservation magazine.

Subscribe to the Today's News RSS feed


Submitted by Cool One at: January 14, 2010
Its boss they bought the boss's house! Great guys.

Submitted by jocking at: January 13, 2010
If there were a job organizing and providing tours, talks, and various educational, entertaining, and historically important presentations and events, I would apply. If awarded the position I would be willing to move, with my partner and our 13 year-old daughter, the 700-800 miles to Long Branch. I couldn't do it gratis and I would have to persuade my wife, but I would accept a most modest salary, and present my wife, whom I refer to affectionately as, "She's the One," on a listserve to which I am a frequent contributor, with a most persuasive appeal. I don't think it would be appropriate to charge admission, but the City and County governments should be willing to support such an historically important building. They would also no doubt enjoy substantial tourism. Bruce Springsteen country could easily become a destination of world-wide appeal, if the number of things to see and do reached a critical mass. If such a job becomes available, I hope it will be advertized widely. There are many people who would be well qualified. Number one, I think, would be belief in the historical importance of Mr. Springsteen's music. He's not just another rock star. He is an American Icon, a World Treasure.

Submitted by Bruce at: January 12, 2010
Who did the Boss shag in this house??

Submitted by Rocky at: January 12, 2010
I owned the house when Bruce lived in it from 5/74 until 9/75. There was no shag carpet in the house when Bruce lived there. Since Bruce moved out, I had about 5 other tenants over the years until I sold the house in 1993. Bruce's DNA is long gone.

Submitted by Jerry H at: January 12, 2010
As both a preservationist and Springsteen fan, I'm glad to hear the House will be saved, but let's get a little perspective. Kudos to the buyers but they should not be forced to live with shag carpeting. This is no Graceland. The Boss only lived there for one year, so restoring it to a 70's feel is more than responsible.

Submitted by Anonymous at: January 5, 2010
If the house is associated with Springsteen for his work in 1974-1975, that '70s shag carpet would be a historic characteristic of the house--as appalling as it might sound to some folks. To evoke the Boss, if there was shag carpet (and other 1970s features) when he was living there, it's part of the character of the house. Losing it would be a shame.

Submitted by anon at: December 27, 2009
Margaret Foster rocks!

Submitted by Brian at: December 23, 2009
I wonder if they will erect a historical marker so the public learns something about their neighborhood?