Bruce Springsteen Attends Ceremony Hosted By Springsteen Archives Announcing New Building
Bruce Springsteen played one of his earliest gigs when he was just 19 with his band, Steel Mill, at Monmouth College, and now he is getting his own building named after him at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music announced at a special ceremony this morning (Oct. 18).
“Having a building with your name on it is a tricky thing,” Springsteen told the audience–which included Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Darlene Love, E Street Band member Vini Lopez and manager Jon Landau. “Because, I’m still alive.”
Springsteen joked that with the building comes great responsibility, because “I am subject to any kind of behavior.”
“I mean, I could get arrested for… tequilas in a public park. That’s something that could happen,” he joked. “All I can say is I will try to do my best for the rest of my life not to embarrass a building.”
The new 30,000 square foot building to house the archives will be designed by the acclaimed New York-based architectural firm, COOKFOX, the building will be located on the campus of Monmouth University on the corner of Cedar and Norwood Avenue, not far from where Springsteen wrote his landmark song, “Born to Run,” nearly 50 years ago. A campaign to raise the $45 million to construct the new building–projected for completion in Spring, 2026–is underway, with 2/3 of the goal already raised, according to Monmouth University President and Chair of the Archives Board Patrick F. Leahy.
“A few years ago, Bruce Springsteen committed his archives here to us. I think he referred to it as his ‘stuff,'” Leahy siad.
The Center for American Music will feature some of that “stuff” with exhibits on Springsteen –including a reading room featuring books that inspired his creative process–and showcase diverse topics and themes in American music, while the Archives will offer visitors the chance to listen to oral histories and interviews, watch rare film footage, and explore major moments in music history.
Intimate concerts, teacher workshops, symposia, lectures, film series, and other public and educational programs will also be part of the mission of the Archives and Center for American Music, Robert Santelli, executive director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music. Santelli first heard Springsteen play when he was a “skinny freshman” at what was then Monmouth College in 1969.
“Steel Mill was our freshman orientation entertainment,” he said.
“Our institution will offer exciting research opportunities for students, journalists, and historians and give Springsteen fans the chance to explore his music and the role it plays in American history like never before,” added Robert Santelli, executive director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music. “Teachers will also find the Archives and Center for American Music a valuable educational resource. Lesson plans, teaching strategies, and online programs will be available to teachers and enable them to bring American music into the classroom.”
“Believe it or not, there are people who come from around the world for their vacations…to spend their hard earned dollars in Asbury Park or Freehold from whence I have hailed, and now they actually have some place to go other than my house,” Springsteen said, adding there is now somewhere to “get the junk out of my house. It was getting cluttered in there nd so now I’ve got some place to put that stuff.”
“Seriously, I am moved by all the efforts and commitment,” he said in conclusion. “At 19, I played on these very steps out here, and to stand here today is quite humbling knowing I am going to be a presence here on this campus, which I really look forward to being.”