Madison’s Greenbush-Vilas Neighborhood

Greenbush Map

Greenbush Marker 2

One of Madison’s older neighborhoods, it was also once known as “Madison’s Ellis Island”.  The original neighborhood existed from 1900-1960 before Madison decided to redevelop the area, called the Triangle Redevelopment Project. The ten-block triangular area looks different now, but old-timers remember the days when this mainly Italian immigrant community was an island in the growing city of Madison.  Some home movies exist of the old Greenbush, see them below.

Take a walking tour here.

This is the Greenbush of the 21st century, there are many plaques and intact buildings from this period in Madison. This plaque is on a rock at 3 South Park Street.

Greenbush plaque on rock

In this part of the neighborhood are several popular businesses. The Italian Workman’s Club building at 914 Regent St. is a meeting place and also has a bar. They celebrated 100 years in 2015! They put on Festa Italia in the summer.

Italian Workman's Club 800

Italian Workman's Club 1200

Next door is Regent Street Liquor Store with their distinctive sign.

Regent Strret Liquor on 916 Regent Street

Further down Regent street on the left is the famous Greenbush Bakery, such delicious pastries there! Be sure to stop in when you are in the neighborhood. It is also Madison’s ONLY certified Kosher bakery.

Greenbush Bakery collage

Another historical marker is at Resurrection Cemetery.  This is where many Greenbush residents are laid to rest.

Resurrection Cemetery in Madison



The Greenbush neighborhood also is part of the Vilas neighborhood, where the Henry Vilas Zoo is.

Vilas Neighborhood in Madison

Many historic homes are in this area. There is a walking tour booklet to help you find the houses on your own. Here are a couple of them. The Mary Boyd House on Vilas Ave. Both are in the walking tour booklet.

Mary Boyd House on Vilas Ave

The Larson House

August Cornelius Larson House in Madison

Larson House Plaque

We conclude our tour of the Greenbush neighborhood by going to  Brittingham Apartments for their Triangle Ethnic Fest.  It used to be held every August and it celebrates the cultural diversity still in this neighborhood, though now in the form of high-rise apartment buildings instead of single family homes.

Triangle Neighborhood signcelebrate difference button

2010 poster

Bayview kids

Croatian dancingBollywood

The Greenbush neighborhood lives on in a different form, but still is a distinct neighborhood with much happening now and heading toward the future.










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