I wanted to respond to a photo challenge The Daily Post has put out, a challenge to feature something that comes in threes, with a somewhat impromptu installment of “Allison in Madison.” I say “impromptu” since it doesn’t feature a photo of a notable locale here in Madison, but it does represent something you’d find there. This is what I’m talking about:
Virtually every Madisonian and every student or alum of the University of Wisconsin—Madison will recognize the design on these three matching miniature chairs. These are replicas of the famous Sunburst chairs found at the Terrace of the UW’s Memorial Union. The Terrace, situated on the beautiful shores of Lake Mendota, is one of the most beautiful spots in town and certainly one of the most beautiful locales on any college campus. (Try to top that, Northwestern.) The chair design dates back to at least the 1930s, and the colors are intentional: Green, orange, and yellow represent not only common colors of farm tractors in Wisconsin (or at least certain makes of tractors) but the colors of autumn and spring, seasons the UW student body associates with the start and end of the school year.
At the moment, the Union Terrace is undergoing a major renovation, so for the most part the Terrace is off limits; and since it’s also almost winter, the famous chairs and the tables that go with them are likely in storage. But for those longing for the warmer months, or the completion of the Terrace’s facelift — or for the alums who want a little something to remind them of the UW — they can purchase these miniatures at the Union’s gift shop. Even though I’m not a UW alum (though my sister is), I keep these as a reminder that, wherever life will take me, nothing will match the unique beauty of Madison.