City of Madison

Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog

The Good Day Machine

June 14, 2010 9:29 AM

During the Cold War, there was rumored to be a "doomsday machine" that would keep launching nuclear weapons even after everyone responsible for pressing the nuclear button had been wiped out. Well, Irv and Bob Goodman created the positive corollary to the doomsday machine. Call it the Good Day Machine.

After a lifetime of breath-taking philanthropy, the brothers passed away just months apart over the course of the last year. But they were determined not to let a simple thing like death stop their ongoing contributions to the community. So this weekend, the Irwin & Robert Goodman Foundation announced another great gift to the city they loved. The foundation is giving $250,000 to close the private fundraising goal for the new South Madison Branch Library. In fitting fashion, that branch will now be named for them. The cost of the building itself is $3.5 million paid for by the City of Madison with the interior finished off with private gifts like this one.

Bob and Irv loved libraries, and it's especially important that they will be helping the South Branch. This tired storefront at the Villager Mall on Park Street is perhaps our most important branch. That's because it's among our most heavily used, and it's used by a neighborhood that needs the access to books, computers and other forms of media that are taken for granted in other parts of the city. But at only 3,000 square feet, the current building just isn't up to the task.

The new library will be 12,000 square feet in a new building right along Park Street that also houses the new Urban League Center for Economic Development and Workforce Training and the new Planned Parenthood clinic. It will have the latest amenities and be the state-of-the-art branch library in the city.

This gift announcement was just one aspect of what will be an annual Goodman Weekend celebration that will be held on opening day of the Goodman Pool. In fact, this year at the pool, John Hayes of Goodman Jewelers donated free passes for the first 500 kids who came to the pool on its first day of the season last Friday.

So, the Goodman Brothers' spirit of community and giving lives on in their foundation and in people like John Hayes. Through their foundation and through their inspiration, Irv and Bob have created a machine of caring that will keep doing good long into the future.


Alcohol Issues
City Budget
City Government
Common Council
Dane County
Development Projects
Economic Development
Federal Government
Federal Stimulus
High Speed Rail
  • Boom Times
Madison Parks
Overture Center
Public Safety
Road Construction
State Budget
State Government
State of the City