Happy New Year!

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History

I thought I would end 2009 and start 2010 by sharing some old house articles I recently came across that were full of good news for old house lovers.

The first is for anyone who is a fan of Bruce Springsteen. The house he rented in 1975, and where he wrote 2 of his most famous songs, “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road” was up for sale. The house is in Long Beach, New Jersey and is in very poor condition. Due to the fact that it is located in an area zoned commercial and residential, some of his fans were concerned the old house would be torn down to make way for new development. The old house is a 1920’s bungalow. Three Springsteen fans got together and purchased the home this month in order to save it. At the moment they don’t plan on turning it into a museum or shrine, they will restore it and perhaps live there.

I also came across an article about some homes that a famous architect had built in Milwaukee. I am a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, so the article caught my eye. Most of Mr. Wright’s more famous houses are higher end, these particular old houses were built for the average person. The old houses had fallen into sad shape, and an organization began trying to raise money to save them. They have been successful, and restoration will begin on the first home this spring. Frank Lloyd Wright had a unique style, and I’m glad they are going to be able to save these old houses.

The last story wasn’t read in an article, but rather in a movie I watched several days ago, for probably the 25th time. It has become a holiday tradition for me to watch it least once every Christmas season. The movie is A Christmas Story, and I remembered reading awhile back about a man who purchased the old house used in the movie. He, like so many people, had watched the movie many times since it came out in 1983, and was concerned about what would happen to the old house when he saw it was for sale. He purchased it for $150,000 in 2004, and spent another $240,000 restoring the old house to how it appeared in the movie. The previous owners had altered the exterior with new windows and vinyl siding. Using the movie as a guide, the new owner restored the house’s exterior to match how it had appeared in the movie. Most of the interior shots of the old house for the movie had been done on a stage in Canada. The new owner changed the interior of the old house to match how it looked in the movie, or as close as he could get it. The old house even has the leg lamp in the front window. Pretty amazing!

I hope everyone has a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!