Thank you Renate Recknagel!
Renate Recknagel, who just departed the Board after 30 years, has been a Wooster Square resident the whole time, first at her brownstone on Chapel Street and subsequently on Olive Street. She is a co-founder (with the late Beverly Carbonella and erstwhile Ralph Marcarelli) of the Historic Wooster Square Association, had been a member of the board since its inception. She served as its president for several years. Renate is an attorney, a teacher, and a business woman. She has been involved politically in the community as a member of the 8th Ward Committee and continues to be interested in promoting community concerns. (July 5, 2016)
The Current Board:
Elsie Blackshear Chapman - President
Elsie Blackshear Chapman lives in the Edward Rowland House (ca. 1865) on Academy Street, having lived for the 20 previous years in Ridgefield, CT. She retired in 1995 from IBM after working for 30 years in a variety of management and executive positions. She has since taught high school and college math and worked as a development officer for Yale and other non profit institutions. Elsie now serves on the boards of directors of several public and non profit cultural and historical institutions.
Charlie Murphy - Secretary
Charlie Murphy and his wife, Charlotte, have lived on the corner of Academy and Greene Streets since 2003. They moved to New Haven after several years in Wallingford, CT. Over the years, their daughter Kathleen's activities as a student at New Haven Ballet, Neighborhood Music School and the Foote School brought them to New Haven regualrly. Now Kathleen works at Yale and owns a home where she lives with her family in the Fair Haven section of the city. Charlie is a Vietnam-era veteran (U.S. Navy) and a retired librarian who worked for 16 years each at Fuss & O'Neill, consulting engineers in Manchester, CT, and before that at Penn State University in State College.
Keith Lorch - Treasurer
Keith Lorch and his wife, Jackie, are among the original residents of The Gables at Wooster Square, the former St. Casimir’s Church on Greene Street. They moved to New Haven from Fairfield in 2006 after becoming empty nesters and having been captivated by the concerts at Yale’s Sprague Hall. They have been active participants in neighborhood activities, including the community garden on Warren Street. Keith is also a member of the Wooster Street Grill, a notable feature of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, and is a regular volunteer at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry at St. Paul & St. James.
Cordalie Benoit returned to New Haven in 2001, having fallen in love with the city while attending Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2000-2001. She is a board member of the CT Community Gardening Association and of the American Community Gardening Association. With the help of many other community members, she has planted more than 30 trees in Wooster Square and surrounding streets. Cordalie is also a member of the William Street Community Garden. She resides on Court Street with her husband, David.
Patrick J. Dunn
Patrick J Dunn has lived in Connecticut since 2003 when he first moved to Hartford from Ankara, Turkey to attend the University of Hartford. What really made Patrick fall in love with New Haven, a place that was meant originally to only be a placeholder for a year, was the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival which was held within a few weeks of his first moving into New Haven in 2011. Seeing the sense of community that is represented within the few blocks that is the Wooster Square neighborhood at the Festival made him realize that he had found a home in New Haven. Patrick is the Development Manager at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and is also involved with several other Connecticut non-profits.
Sarah Grenblatt has lived in the Henry Hotchkiss House (ca. 1841; completely rebuilt ca. 1930) on the corner of Chapel Street and DePalma Court since January 2013. She is a member the Cherry Blossom Festival Planning Committee, coordinating participation of Authors and Artists who share their talents at the Festival. Over her 35-year career as a social work administrator and consultant, Sarah has worked in Connecticut, New York City and across the country with young people and families, community groups, human service and housing organizations, child welfare and mental health agencies, national tribal organizations, and foundations to collaboratively improve child welfare policies and practices.
Erin Gustafson moved to New Haven 1999 from Oregon, where she grew up, and moved to Court Street in Wooster Square in 2005. She became active in New Haven early on, serving over the years on boards of the historic Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven Sister Cities, and the Downtown-Wooster Square Community Management Team. She works for Yale as an immigration adviser and has led the Wooster Square Block Watch. She has been an active volunteer for Wooster Square events including the Court Street Halloween party, movie night, and the Block Party.
Marianne Mazan is a long-time resident and active member of the Wooster Square community. She is retired from her position as an administrator at the Yale School of Medicine. Marianne served as representative for Wooster Square on the Historic District Commission for 27 years. She also served on the Board of the New Haven Preservation Trust and still volunteers at the New Haven Museum.
Bonnie Rosenberg is a resident of the Henry Cowell House (ca. 1869) on Greene Street. Her first 15-year profession was that of a chemist working for Loctite Corp. as an international specialist in the area of light-curing medical device adhesives. After a two-year sabbatical of world travel and art study, she embarked upon a new career in the visual arts field. Bonnie founded Art ARC (Art-Resource-Concepts) to promote and market visual artists and their work both at home and abroad. During this time, her involvement with a local television station ultimately led to coordinating and producing live TV shows and documentary film work. Today Bonnie remains an avid freelance film researcher/photo archivist.
Brett Spearman lives with his wife, Khem, and two children, Alin and Shahn, at Town Houses on the Square (1964), at the corner of Greene Street and Hughes Place. Since 2011 Brett has served as the president of the board of the condominium association and has devoted his time to restoring the condition of the mid-century buildings. Brett helps annually in the layout planning for the Cherry Blossom Festival as well as volunteering as a face painter. A resident of Wooster Square for more than 10 years, Brett is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture and an architect at Pickard Chilton located on Chapel Street.
Peter Webster lives in the Matthew Elliott House (ca. 1835) at the corner of Wooster Place and Chapel Street. He is a theater and opera director, a text and drama coach to opera singers, and playwright and opera librettist whose works have actually enjoyed professional productions. He also runs the Wooster Square Block Watch and co-chairs the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival. He is married to Mary Lou Aleskie, Executive Director of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. They, along with their daughter, Rosemarie, all enjoy the ever-changing presence of the great Wooster Square at their doorstep.