Wanted: Chairs From Local Landmarks

Tush-testing salvaged seats from three historic buildings.

Clowes Memorial Hall
The Chairs: Cushy upholstered perches in use since Clowes opened in 1963.  Backstory: The original 1,888 seats were removed in the recent renovation, and those not done in by decades of wear were set aside for potential resale later.  Availability: Around 200 seats.  Tush Test: Though the chairs are slightly wider than most theater seats, staffers think approximately 9 million people have sat in the theater. Imagine what 9 million butts would do to your couch.  Try Before You Buy: There’s no way yet, but stay tuned and check cloweshall.org for updates.


The Coliseum
The Chairs: Wood-slat seats dating back to the Coliseum’s 1939 opening. Backstory: During the ongoing renovation, a handful of the roughly 8,000 seats were refurbished, mounted on bases, and offered for sale.  Price: $1,000 per pair.  Availability: 100 sets. But they’re going fast, so check eBay for resales.  Tush Test: Not very comfortable, in case your memory of that Beatles concert/ABA Pacers game/JFK campaign speech is hazy.  Try Before You Buy: Wait for the arena to reopen next August. Some chairs will be reinstalled, for patrons whose backsides pine for that old-school feel.


Bush Stadium
The Chairs: Hard plastic circa-1970s fold-ups.  Backstory: Bush Stadium met the wrecking ball in 2012, and the local nonprofit People for Urban Progress salvaged 9,000 seats.  Price: $360 for a refurbished single, $675 for a double.  Availability: Plenty—check peopleup.org.  Tush Test: Anyone who ever squirmed through an Indians doubleheader can tell you they don’t offer much padding.  Try Before You Buy: Visit a “PUPstop”—an IndyGo bus stop outfitted with these orange treasures.


Photos by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the September 2013 issue.