Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Greenbush: Past, Present, and Future

Organized in 1912 as the club Lavoratori Sicilani Muto Socorso e Beneifcenza, the organization today known as the Italian Workmen's Club of Madison is likely the oldest continuously active Italian club in the United States. This afternoon, there was a open house at the IWCM's clubhouse on Regent Street (shown above). The event celebrated the club and its membership, as well as the Greenbush neighborhod. I made a point to attend because I know many of the organization's members, past and present, have strong ties to Madison Central High School. The current IWCM president is Steve Sasso, a member of the Class of 1966.

I looked at lots of displays and photographs, talked to people, took notes, and shot lots of photos inside the clubhouse. I also took photos of some of the few buildings in the area that have been standing for more than just a few decades (there aren't many). I'll be writing more about the event and the neighborhood during the next week or so (my sprained arm is much better, but still makes it difficult to type for too long).

While I was at the IWCM, I learned that it will host a one-day conference on the Greenbush on Tuesday, May 2, 2006. The conference, which runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., is free and open to the public. I don't know about you, but I like to know about such events as far in advance as possible, so if I'm interested I can make plans to attend. So with a tip of the hat to the Southsiders (and their friends and anyone else with an interest in the area), I've scanned the announcement information I picked up at today's open house and have inserted it in this post. According to Mark Wagler, a teacher at Randall School who is helping to plan the conference, a more detailed schedule should be available within the next week. I will post updated information about the conference when I receive it.

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