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Reducing the size of an icky, sticky Seattle tradition

Parts of the brick walls of 1428 Post Alley are covered with several layers of gum about 15-feet high and at least 50-feet wide. (Linda Thomas photo)

Ewwwww, might be the reaction as you look at all the chewwwwwed gum stuck to a wall near Pike Place Market in Seattle.

The Market Theater Gum Wall is a local landmark under Pike Place Market. There’s a problem though, it’s expanding.

Parts of the brick alleyway wall are covered in several layers of gum 15-feet high and about 50-feet wide.

KIRO TV shot some video of pressure washer crews scraping gum off a portion of the wall. They say it’s spread 40 feet beyond where it’s supposed to stop by the box office for the Market Theater.

The story goes that the tradition started around 1991 when patrons of Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall and placed coins in the gum blobs.

After scraping the gum off a couple of times, theater workers gave up. By the late 90s, they realized the wall had become a tourist attraction.

If you’re visiting Seattle, add this colorful mess to your sightseeing list. Add some gum too, and you can come back years from now looking for it, as I just did with relatives visiting our beautiful, quirky city.


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