Seattle Gum Wall: The Weirdest Alley Attraction

Step into the world of Seattle’s Gum Wall, where sticky, icky artistry and quirky charm collide. This peculiar alley attraction is a top thing to do in Seattle and boasts a kaleidoscope of chewed delights (a few of my own are there!), transforming an ordinary brick wall into a masterpiece.

From its humble beginnings as an impromptu art experiment to becoming a cultural phenomenon, let’s unwrap the layers behind the wall of gum in Seattle and explore its intriguing history, jaw-dropping facts, and mesmerizing tales.

Exploring the Famous Gum Wall

Top Attraction: The Wall of Gum in a Seattle Alley at Pike Place

What Is the Seattle Gum Wall?

The Seattle Gum Wall is a peculiar tourist attraction located in Post Alley, beneath Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. It gained notoriety for its vibrant and sticky display of used chewing gum adorning the brick walls.

Market Theater Gum Wall

What is the History of Gum Wall in Seattle?

The Seattle Wall of Gum dates back to the early 1990s when theatergoers started sticking their gum to the wall (usually with pennies inside) while waiting in line for shows at the nearby Market Theater. Despite several attempts to clean it off, the tradition persisted, eventually turning the wall into a colorful and unique landmark.

Wall of Gum in Seattle

What is the Official name of Seattle’s Gum Wall?

What’s the fancy name for Seattle’s sticky wonderland? Well, prepare to be underwhelmed because it’s simply known as “The Gum Wall” (or should I say THE Gum Wall). Yup, no pretentious titles or grandiose names here. Just a wall covered in chewed-up gum that has gained fame and infamy as the go-to spot for artistic gum aficionados and germaphobes’ worst nightmare alike. However, it is this simplistic gum-azingly straightforward moniker that has become widely recognized as the sticky symbol of Seattle.

Seattle Gum Wall Bubblegum

How much gum is on the Gum Wall in Seattle?

Pinpointing the exact gum count on the ever-evolving Gum Wall is like trying to measure the chewable cosmos—it’s a sticky situation. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume that within this sugary mosaic lie thousands, perhaps even millions of individual bubble gum wads, each contributing its sticky charm to this awe-inspiring spectacle.

I’ve left two of my own wads there, and don’t think I’d ever be able to find them again.

Dripping Bubble Gum in Seattle

Where do you get the gum for the wall?

As long as you’re not grabbing one from the gum wall itself, you’re free to bring your own gum (preferably your beloved brand) to add to the sticky, icky tapestry. But fear not if you forget to bring some with you. As you might expect, there are many stores nearby selling gum, especially at Pike Place Market.

Different Methods for Applying Your Own Wads of Gum

When it comes to applying your own gum to the wall, the possibilities are as diverse as a bag of mixed candies. Some folks, you see, opt for a touch of artistic flair, molding their gum into intricate shapes. Others, with a stroke of gumption, craft patterns that dance across the wall.

And then there are those who embrace a much simpler approach, defying conformity by directly sticking their gum to the wall, lending to the whimsical and ever-evolving tapestry of randomness. Whichever way you choose, remember to embrace your imagination and do your thing. 

How often do they Clean the Gum Wall in Seattle?

Historically speaking, the accumulation of gum was left undisturbed for many years, proudly defying the conventional notions of hygiene. Despite numerous attempts to clean it off, the gum remained undisturbed, silently bearing witness to the passage of time.

However, in November 2015, the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority made a bold decision. Concerns about cleanliness and potential damage to the bricks prompted them to undertake the task of completely cleaning and sanitizing the wall.

After the cleaning, there was a mixed response from the public. Some people embrace the fresh start, while others started adding gum again, like painters who cannot resist adding colors to a blank canvas. And in no time, locals and tourists alike resumed the age-old practice of adhering gum to the wall. I hear it still gets cleaned every once in a while, though not like back in 2015.

Seattle Gum Wall Note

Where is the Seattle Gum Wall Located?

The Seattle Gum Wall is located in the heart of the city, specifically in Post Alley, which runs parallel to Pike Place Market. It can be easily accessed by pedestrians and is often a popular stop for tourists exploring the area.

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Wall of Gum in Seattle Alley

Where are Other Gum Walls in the USA?

While the Seattle Gum Wall is the most well-known, there are other gum walls in the USA. One notable example is the Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California, where a similar tradition has developed with people sticking chewed gum to the walls of an alleyway. There’s also “The Gum-Wall” at the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville, Ohio.

The wall of gum in Seattle stands as a testament to the city’s whimsical spirit and unique attractions. This quirky alley attraction, adorned with layers upon layers of chewed gum, has evolved from a spontaneous art experiment into a cultural phenomenon. Its history is as fascinating as the wall itself, capturing the imaginations of visitors from near and far. While the sheer volume of chewed gum adorning the bricks may raise an eyebrow or two, this sticky wonderland reminds us that sometimes the weirdest wonders can be the most captivating.

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