Bruce Springsteen, in his own words, learned more from a three-minute record than he ever learned in school.
But a major part of his legacy—the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music—lives permanently at Monmouth University, where on Wednesday the Archives announced an expansion to a new 30,000-square-foot building.
Springsteen, whose worldwide tour was paused last month as he undergoes treatment for peptic ulcer disease, attended the event and gave a brief speech.
“Having a building with your name on it is a tricky thing, because I’m still alive,” Springsteen mused. “[…] I will try to do my best to do nothing for the rest of my life to embarrass a building.”
The space will house the existing Archives collection—comprised of over 37,000 items, according to NJArts.net—in addition to a 230-seat theater and related exhibition galleries. It’s only a few minutes away from the humble Long Branch bungalow where Springsteen wrote the Born to Run album at his piano nearly 50 years ago.
A campaign is underway to raise the $45 million needed for the construction of the building, which is currently slated to open in spring 2026.
“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,” said Robert Santelli, executive director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, in a press release.
Last year the Archives announced a partnership with Springsteen’s native Freehold to create “My Hometown: The Bruce Springsteen Story Center” at the Freehold Fire Department, which will be renovated to accommodate the exhibit. It’s expected to open in mid-2024.
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