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Memorial Union Terrace is open

April 24, 2013

Photo: Terrace

Terrace chairs came out of storage on Wednesday for the upcoming summer season.

Photo: Bryce Richter

The Memorial Union Terrace is open and the chairs have returned. An annual rite of spring in Madison, the iconic orange, green and yellow sunburst chairs’ arrival signifies the official end to winter and a harbinger of sunny skies, warm breezes and great views of Lake Mendota.

The Brat Stand is not yet open but food options are available inside in Lakefront on Langdon, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, The Daily Scoop and Der Rathskeller.

The Terrace will feature free live music five nights a week and free movies on Mondays, as well as food, Babcock ice cream, cold beverages and lake views.

Memorial Union Reinvestment Phase I construction will continue throughout the summer, as will portions of the other nearby projects.  However, much of this construction will diminish in time, revealing several Terrace improvements, including:

  • The new Brat Stand, expected to open in early summer.
  • A new east Terrace concession stand, “The Gazebo,” will open to complement the Brat Stand, offering another food option to Terrace patrons featuring snacks, sandwiches and salads.  It is scheduled to open late May or early June.
  • A new Alumni Pier, scheduled for completion sometime this summer.
  • The new Hoofers and Outdoor Program area will begin taking shape; the official opening is expected in late August-early September when students return to campus.

Memorial Union remains under construction and will continue to be all summer.  But evenings and weekends on the Terrace will be mostly construction-free.  While ultimately these efforts will improve Union access, services and increase seating space, in the short term construction will alter parking and walkways.

Pedestrians can reach the Terrace via a walkway in Lot 1 (between the Union and Red Gym) or through the building.

There is no direct access currently from Lot 6 under Helen C. White, Lakeshore Path or at the end of Park Street. (This will change in a few weeks.)  There is a pedestrian path along the west side of Park Street leading to a dedicated bike and pedestrian lane on Langdon Street to reach Memorial Union from the west.

Also there is a special ADA route from Lot 6 to Memorial Union; for details, see map. For MUR construction updates, visit here.

Getting there

A number of construction projects other than the Memorial Union renovation are happening at the same time and also are affecting traffic and parking.            

Pedestrians can access the Terrace from Langdon Street via a walkway through Lot 1 or through Memorial Union itself.  Access from the west (Lakeshore Path, Park Street and Lot 6) won’t be available until later this spring.

Unforeseen circumstances have further complicated construction at the corner of Langdon and Park Streets, forcing one-way traffic to the west of Lot 1 and a left-hand turn south on Park Street only.

Right turns are not allowed on Park to get to Observatory Drive or Lot 6 under Helen C. White likely until Friday, April 26. However, Observatory Drive is still accessible from the west via Charter Street.

Langdon Street is two-way to Lot 1; one-way west from there.  Left turn only at Park Street going southbound until at least Friday, April 26.

Parking:  The best bet is the Lake Street ramp about two blocks away. Helen C. White has gated parking on the upper level. Lot 1 between the Red Gym and Memorial Union is closed.  The Fluno Center and Grainger Hall, also within a few blocks, are other options. Click here for parking details.

Buses:  Madison Metro, Van Galder/Coach USA and Badger Bus all now stop in front of the Chazen Museum on University Avenue.  This will continue until at least Friday, April 26.

Additional bicycle parking is now available in Lot 1 and by Helen C. White.

Lakeshore Path will not connect through to the Terrace until later this summer.

–Marc Kennedy