MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation has been dedicated to preserving southern Wisconsin’s history for 50 years. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation is commemorating 50 years of preserving southern Wisconsin's history
  • Rick Chandler, president of the Board of Trustees, emphasized the importance of engaging and informative tours for the public
  • Tours highlight diverse historical sites, including a pre-Civil War sandstone house transformed into modern apartments
  •  Participants gain a new perspective on Madison's history and community connections through these engaging experiences

As it celebrates this milestone, Rick Chandler, the president of the Board of Trustees, highlighted the passion and dedication behind its efforts.

His team has spent decades making history engaging and accessible for the public.

“It is a little bit of a performance, and you want to try to make things interesting for people,” Chandler said, reflecting on his docent work and 30 years as a member of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation.

He emphasized the importance of crafting tours that are both informative and captivating, covering a wide variety of historical sites.

“We’ve got great stories to tell, but we want to make they are as interesting as possible, include as much information as possible, and figure out tours that have a wide variety of sites for people to see,” he said.

One of the standout locations on the Greenbush tour is a house built in 1855. It’s a pre-Civil War sandstone gem that never fails to intrigue participants.

Chandler described the ornate farmhouse as “the oldest house on the Greenbush tour,” highlighting its transformation from an Italianate estate into modern day apartments. 

He said the tours don’t just focus on grand mansions, they also showcase the rich diversity of middle-class and working-class homes in the neighborhood. 

“This is part of the neighborhood where there’s just a wide variety of middle-class homes, working-class homes, different eras, different architectural styles,” he said. “So, it’s just a fascinating neighborhood.”

Program Director Jennifer Gurske said experiencing these tours gives people a new appreciation for Madison by connecting them to their city’s history.

“You understand that we’re all connected to this history. We’re all connected to what’s happened here, and these buildings. This is where history happened,” Gurske said.

Most tours conclude with a treat. On the Greenbush tour this summer, a complimentary glass of prosecco at Fabiola’s and Leopold’s offers a delightful toast to history and preservation.

For more information, visit the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation’s website at