Often when I travel somewhere I’ll Google what the top tourist attractions are in a city. Yeah, yeah, I know “Tourist Attractions” are the worst and ultra tacky and should be avoided at all costs – But really when you think about it, they’re popular places to check out for a reason. However, I did not have to Google the famous Seattle Gum Wall to know that I wanted to stick a piece of my own gum to the wall 🙂 For those of your who don’t know; the Gum Wall is a brick wall covered in used chewing gum in an alleyway in downtown Seattle. It’s located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market with a unique fragrance of fruit + mint.
I’ll confess that I did a little bit of research on the history of this place because I’m a nerd and I like knowing these things. The wall is by the box office for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when people would stick their gum to the wall and push coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up aftermarket officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999. It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, and it is a popular site with wedding photographers which I find ultra weird… Like, I understand wedding photos in back alleys and industrial areas but this one is covered in gum… why is this a romantic place for couple shots? My sister and I are a different story – We’re two girls checking events off our Bucket Lists 🙂 Our family made the pit-stop to all stick pieces of our gum to the wall! What was crazy, was that a couple years ago – My sister and Dad were in Seattle visiting our brother at school and they went to stick a piece of gum on the wall, but when they went, they happened to be there when the gum wall was receiving a total scrub down for maintenance and steam cleaned for the first time in 20 years!!! SO CRAZY FOR TIMING. When we looked into it, we learned that it was announced by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority that to prevent further erosion of the bricks on the walls from the sugar in the gum, it would all be stripped on November 10, 2015. Apparently, it took 130 hours to complete, and they removed over 2,350 pounds of gum. My Dad and sister were there that day watching it being cleaned!! I can’t imagine Gum Wall before it was stripped – That was over a decade of chewed bubble gum built up! It was probably repulsive – Especially in the summer heat… At first people were wondering if they would allow the tradition to continue but sure enough after the cleaning was finished a couple days later, gum began to be re-added to the wall immediately.
Keep chasing those Bucket List tasks guys!
– Stay Satisfied