Memorial Union Terrace adds "Mendota Blue" chairs to mark transformation
April 29, 2012
The palette of the Memorial Union Terrace gained another vivid color on Sunday, April 29, as 300 “Mendota Blue” Terrace chairs joined the familiar orange, green and yellow chairs.
These unique blue chairs will remain on the Terrace through July 31, and will serve as a reminder to the community of an exciting period of transformation at Memorial Union.
An architect’s rendering of the completed Phase 1 restoration.
The chairs are designed to create public awareness of and build support for the Union renovations that are at the core of the Memorial Union Reinvestment project.
They also represent a call to action to join the Mendota Blue Movement, a campaign developed in partnership between Wisconsin Union and UW Credit Union, and designed to raise funds for the Wisconsin Union Building Project.
Though the Mendota Blue Movement is a three-month campaign scheduled to end on July 31, it also serves as the official launch to the public phase of Wisconsin Union’s longer-term capital campaign – called A Blueprint for the Next 100 Years -- with a three-year goal of raising $25 million by the end of 2015.
“Through the generous support of UW Credit Union, we’re able to launch this exciting new level of fundraising, making it possible for friends and fans of Memorial Union throughout Dane County, across the country, and around the globe to help create the next 100 years of this extraordinary building,” says Union Director Mark Guthier.
Kicking off the upcoming Memorial Union Reinvestment project, 300 limited-edition "Mendota Blue" chairs were delivered to the Memorial Union Terrace on April 29, 2012. The unique blue chairs, which will be featured along with the Terrace’s traditional green, orange and yellow iconic, sunburst-graphic chairs through July 31, are designed to create public awareness and build support for the MUR project. They also represent a call to action to join the Mendota Blue Movement, a Wisconsin Union building-fund campaign conducted in a partnership with the UW Credit Union.
Photo: Jeff Miller
He adds: “By contributing to the Mendota Blue Movement, you will be helping to preserve one of most historic venues on this campus and in the Madison area, while providing vital improvements to greatly enhance the Union’s programming experience and address accessibility issues throughout the building.”
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Wisconsin Union and to sponsor the Mendota Blue Movement," says UW Credit Union President and CEO Paul Kundert, who also serves on the Wisconsin Union Campaign Cabinet. "UW Credit Union was founded soon after Memorial Union was completed, so both organizations share a long history of service to the UW and greater Madison community. The Union is cherished in our community, and we're pleased to continue to help the organization and support the capital campaign."
The Mendota Blue chairs also provide an added incentive for supporters to donate to the campaign. Donors who give at the $1,000 level or above will receive their very own, limited-edition Mendota Blue terrace chair as a thank-you gift at the conclusion of the campaign.
Donors who give between $150 and $999 will receive an exclusive Mendota Blue mini Terrace Chair, and donors who give between $75 and $149 will receive a special Mendota Blue keychain. Both the mini-chairs and keychains are available while supplies last.
Donations at all giving levels have a tremendous impact and are greatly appreciated. For more information, and to make a gift, interested donors are encouraged to visit www.mendotablue.org.
Memorial Union has served as the “living room of campus” since 1928, and welcomes over 5 million visitors each year.
The building has never seen a comprehensive restoration, and time and use have taken a tremendous toll. Systems are outdated, aging pipes have failed and caused damage to the building, far too many entrances and rooms can be reached only by stairs, making them virtually inaccessible to many, and program and meeting spaces simply do not meet the needs of 21st century students.
The Memorial Union Reinvestment project is a multi-phase rehabilitation effort that seeks to remedy these issues, respectfully preserving the past, while building for the future. The first phase, which begins this summer, will focus on the west wing of the building, updating treasured spaces like the Wisconsin Union Theater, Wisconsin Union Craftshop, and the Outdoor Programs and Hoofers facilities.
The restoration is part of the Lakefront Gateway project, which includes the union renovation, the construction of Alumni Park and shoreline improvements along Lake Mendota in the area.
The projects together create a synergy that improves lakefront access for all, and will provide new green space and a needed update to the historic Memorial Union. Lakefront Gateway is the final link in the East Campus Mall, a lively pedestrian thoroughfare from Regent Street to Lake Mendota.