The Greenbush neighborhood is, and always has been an eclectic mix. Historically it was a neighborhood of minorities and outcasts, referred to by more than one historian as “Madison’s Ellis Island.” Today the neighborhood is known for being HIGHLY desirable, abutting the Vilas Neighborhood with which it is often mentioned (The Greenbush-Vilas). It is equally eclectic, housing UW students, long time-residents, professors, as well as doctors and staff from both Meriter and St. Mary’s hospitals, which both lie within it’s borders.
Geographically the official boundaries of the Greenbush neighborhood are Regent St on the north, Randal Ave on the west, Park St on the East and the UW Arboretum and Haywood Dr to the south.
Architecturally, the homes are larger homes, on smaller lots. Many of the homes are closer together, owing to the history of the neighborhood – large families with incomes typical of minority communities. The homes are typically 100+ years old, with lots of renovations and additions. Many of the homes have been split into typical Madison student rentals with multiple units per home. Prices in the neighborhood range from roughly $175,000 and go up very quickly from there. Architecturally, Dutch colonial, federalist, and craftsman bungalows dominate, with a healthy dose of other styles included.
Living in Greenbush confers on one the ability to walk to the UW Arboretum, to Lake Wingra, the Vilas Zoo, Monona Bay, UW Madison campus, among many others. There are lots of classic bars along both Park St and Regent St for nightlife. The Zuzu Cafe is a fun hang-out just outside of the zoo. Over all, life in Greenbush is pretty sweet.
The first community center in Madison was started in Greenbush, and is still active at the “the Neighborhood House. The neighborhood also boasts the Italian Workman’s club.
Best of all, for homeowners, and prospective homeowners – not only is a home in the Greenbush neighborhood already a great investment, but the city of Madison frequently offers TIF loans for renovation work for a home in the neighborhood.