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One wall in the North Western United States is more famous than the rest. Part of an unpretentious alleyway next to Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market is a hidden gem dubbed as the Seattle Gum Wall. The unexpected and vibrant display is a fitting representation of Seattle’s quirky vibes and its unique charisma. What started back in the 1990’s by some locals who stuck their used gum on a wall while waiting for a theater show has now grown into a top tourist attraction in Seattle. For some, the wall is downright gross, but to most, it is a piece of art. Here are some crazy facts about this crazy attraction that you may not know and that may motivate you to leave your own “gum impression” here.
The tradition of sticking gum started in 1993 when the local patrons waiting in line for a show at Post Alley’s Market Theater stuck their used gum on the wall when they got bored of the long wait. The patrons at that time also placed coins in the gum blobs but as the wall grew, the coins dropped out of sight, and the gum remained. The Gum Wall has grown since then to cover a colossal expanse of the theater brick wall resulting in fascinating imagery of colors.
Workers from the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority toiled continuously for 3 days to clean the icky wall in November 2015. They pressure-washed and scraped the wall for the first time in 20 years to remove around 2300 pounds of gum and almost restored it to its original red-brick facade. However from the very next weekend, people started sticking gum to the wall again and today it seems like the wall was never cleaned at all.
The Gum Wall is not a small strip of wall next to the Post Alley’s Market Theater entrance as you might envision. Gums are stuck along the alley’s wall for more than 50 feet including a few places where it may not even be within the average person’s arms reach.
You can too contribute to the wall by bringing your gum and joining in the fun. The color and shape of your designs are entirely up to your creativity. See if you can stand out from the crowd with your “gum mark” by making it unique.
You might be thinking where else on earth a weird attraction like this would come up? Look no further than our own country. San Luis’ Bubblegum Alley and Greenville’s gum wall are equally gross and colorful, if not more!
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