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The Born House: Henrietta's Home
by Linda Abrams- Curator, Longmeadow Historical Society- May 2005

Soon we will lose another magnificent local home to development. Although it is not a 17th or 18th or 19th century house, it is nevertheless architecturally significant to our historic town.  It is prominently situated between two entrance roads into beautiful Colony Hills; the area designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted and Sons and which dates from 1913.  We call it the Born House and it is located at the corner of Laurel Street and Forest Glen Road.

  
Date of photo: February 25, 1913

It all began in 1904 when the two sons of Henrietta (Falke) Born, Rudolph and Walter accepted responsible and high salaried positions at the Carpet Company in Thompsonville, Connecticut and moved to Woodlawn Place in Longmeadow. After many visits to her sons' home, Henrietta sought available land in Longmeadow in order to develop an estate.  On November 11, 1910 a deed transferred to her 63 acres from the heirs of Sylvester Bliss.  Soon after, construction began of a modern mansion after the fashionable homes built in Washington Heights, New York City, where the Borns had a home.   Henrietta's husband, Paul devoted his time to scientific research and he and his sons were renowned worldwide for knowing the secret of mixing dyes to produce colorful rugs and carpets.

Of the 63 acres Henrietta purchased, she selected the highest ground to build her beautiful home facing Forest Park and the lily ponds.  Her plan also included transforming the acres into landscaped walks and gardens.  Upon completion of the home, Paul, Henrietta, and their daughter Elsa moved in.  Sadly, Paul died May 3, 1913 and Henrietta died August 5, 1915 at age 56.  Her son Rudolph and daughter Elsa lived on in the house and in the early 1920's sold a large portion of the estate for the development of Colony Hills.  Upon Elsa's marriage to Dr. Harold B Adams, a widower with a young son, another home was built on the property, now 23 Greenwich Road.  In 1937 the big home at 5 Laurel Street was sold and has had several owners since.

Elsa (Born) Adams died May 23, 1957 and her brother, Rudolph who never married and later resided at 23 Greenwich Road died October 29, 1960.  Henrietta is buried in the Falke Family Plot at the historic Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York as are her sons Rudolph, and Walter who died November 28, 1945 in New Jersey.

The present owner has decided to raze Henrietta's home, similar to the tragic loss of the Wallace Estate on Shaker Road in the 1970s. Drive by and marvel at this beautiful home; once it's gone it's gone forever. 


Check back to the Town Crier Archive often to read new articles as they are posted.


Longmeadow Historical Society

697 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 567-3600
LongmeadowHS@gmail.com
 
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