Yes, I remember sitting in the old springy chairs back when the terrace was smaller. I remember seeing the springy chairs Bwis53 is talking about when I first went to the terrace in the early 70s. By the late 70s there were fewer of them. The story I heard back then was that many had worn out (and I did see some with the seats rusted completely through) but I also heard that a number of them had found their way to the bottom of Lake Mendota. I was always under the impression that the springy chairs were the original terrace chairs dating back to at least the 1940s. A friend once claimed the same springy chairs can be seen in the movie Casablanca (and I have a faded memory - I think - of seeing a still from the movie showing the same chairs, but every Google image search I do now does not support that).
Just as roadkill bill recalls, I too remember that when the UW went to replace them (in the late 70s/early 80s) they could not get an exact replacement, and so they commissioned a company to make the chairs in the style we see today. Once again, I was under the impression that the current chairs were an “as close as they can get” replacement for the “original” chairs. That was the way I remember it, but through the years I’ve noticed that any reference to the current chairs in official UW publications makes it sound like they are exact replicas of an earlier chair.
So today I went to the archives, and the photographic evidence shows that I was wrong about what the original chair design really was.
Observe: In this 1940 photo, the chairs are totally different.
Memorial Union Terrace, 1940 ca.http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=2122
In this 1948 photo, the chairs look much like the chairs look today.
Memorial Union Terrace, 1948 ca.http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id= 57986
In this 1952 photo, the chairs look much like the chairs look today.
Memorial Union Terrace, 1952 ca.http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=42913
In this 1968 photo, there is a mix of chairs like they have today and the springy chairs. The student in the left foreground is sitting in a springy chair.
Students at the Memorial Union Terrace, May 23, 1968 http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=42829
In this 1970 photo, more springy chairs.
Group on Memorial Union Terrace, 1970 ca.http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=67636
In this 1973 photo, it looks like a mix including springy chairs.
Group on Memorial Union Terrace, May 30, 1973http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=55330