Ironic Seattle Icons

Looking for Seattle's quirky side? Here are a few sights not to miss.
  • Fremont Troll (Fremont)
    Hidden under the Aurora Avenue Bridge, this 18-foot-tall, shaggy-haired, one-eyed creature appears to be lying in wait for inattentive drivers. (In his left hand, he’s crushing an old Volkswagen.) Created by four local artists out of rebar, wire, and two tons of ferroconcrete, the Troll is perfectly harmless, known to devour more film than anything else. Troll Ave N and N 36th.
  • Lenin Statue (Fremont)
    Said to be the largest Lenin statue in the U.S., this sculpture was salvaged from a Russian scrap heap by a local teacher. Like many of Seattle’s statues, it’s often adorned and decorated: during Gay Pride Week, Lenin has even been dressed in drag. Evanston and N 36th St.
  • Seattle P-I globe (Seattle waterfront)
    Perched atop what used to be the Seattle Post-Intelligencer building, the 18.5-ton, 30-foot P-I globe was built in 1948 by Pacific Car and Foundry and Electrical Products Consolidated for nearly $26,000. 2601 Elliott Ave.
  • Pink Elephant Car Wash (South Lake Union)
    Erected in 1956, the pink elephant is undoubtedly Seattle’s most flamboyant piece of neon. Built out of 70 separate pieces of neon, the large sign (a smaller version sits 100 yards back) features 380 blinking bulbs. 616 Battery St.
  • Hat & Boots (Georgetown)
    Originally part of a 1950s gas station that fell into disrepair after the late ’80s closure of the “Premium Tex” cowboy-themed station, the Hat & Boots were moved to Oxbow Park in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood in 2003, where renovation began. Today both the Hat (which measures 19 by 44 feet) & Boots (which once housed bathrooms for cowboys and cowgirls) have been fully restored. 6430 Corson Ave S.
  • The Gum Wall (Pike Place Market)
    Located at the Market Theatre under Pike Place, this brick wall boasts inches of multicolored, ABC gum (extending 15 feet in height and 50 feet in length.) Deemed an official Seattle tourist attraction in 1999, it also holds the distinction of being named among the Top Five Germiest Tourist Attractions in 2009 by TripAdvisor.com. Post Alley, between Pike and Union.

—Diane Mapes

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