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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast

Our New Old Building

CREATED Jan 2, 2013
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Allow me a moment to brag on my adopted home of Greendale and invite you to visit in 2013. Our Village is in its diamond anniversary year, and it’s going to be quite a party.

One of the highlights of the year-long celebration will surely be the ongoing effort to save, and repurpose one of Greendale’s many surviving original buildings. Just before the holidays, I was privileged to get an inside look at the old hose tower. It was a snowy weekday afternoon, and I was glad I brought my camera.

Back in the day, the hose tower was, exactly as its name implied. It was a tower where the fire department hung its hoses to dry. It hasn’t been that for a long time. Really, it hasn’t been anything for a while. The Greendale Historical Society wants to turn it into a community center.

These are the best kinds of projects.

Let’s start with the fact that it preserves an “old timey” building. Greendale has a unique history as one of three “Greenbelt Communities” planned during the Roosevelt Administration. On the purest of levels, it’s living history, as opposed to the kind retained only in photographs and stories.

That said, just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s historic. In tight budget times, not everything is worth saving, and those things which are, better have a purpose. The project delivers on that as well, granting new public access to this building. Most residents have driven by for years but have never even seen inside. The plan goes beyond making sure the building doesn’t fall down. The conversion to usable space could create a new treasure in an historic town.

I’ve included a link to the Greendale Historical Society website. It’s got more on the project, the history of Greendale, and the many exciting things planned for residents and visitors this year. Hope you come by.

Additional pictures on my facebook page or



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