Fremont Troll

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Fremont Troll
The Troll
Artist Steve Badanes
Will Martin
Donna Walter
Ross Whitehead
Year 1990 (1990)
Type Sculpture
Dimensions 5.5 m (18 ft)
Location Seattle
Coordinates Coordinates: 47°39′03″N 122°20′50″W / 47.650955°N 122.34728°W / 47.650955; -122.34728 (Fremont Troll)
Owner City of Seattle

The Fremont Troll (also known as The Troll, or the Troll Under the Bridge) is a public sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington in the United States.


The Troll is a mixed media colossal statue, located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (also known as the Aurora Bridge). It is clutching an actual Volkswagen Beetle, as if it had just swiped it from the roadway above. The vehicle has a California license plate.[1] The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. He is interactive—visitors are encouraged to clamber on him or try to poke out his one good eye (a hubcap). The Troll is 5.5 m (18 ft) high, weighs 6,000 kg (13,000 lb), and is made of steel rebar, wire, and concrete.[2]

The segment of Aurora Avenue North under the bridge, running downhill from the Troll to North 34th Street was renamed "Troll Avenue" in its honor in 2005.[3] A caricatured replica of the Troll was entered in the Red Bull Soapbox Race (a soapbox derby) in Seattle in 2007.[4] The Seattle drugstore chain Bartell Drugs released a commemorative Fremont Troll Chia Pet in 2011 to celebrate the Troll's 21st birthday.[5]


The piece was the winner of a competition sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council in 1990, in part with the goal of rehabilitating the area under the bridge, which was becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers. It was built later that same year. The idea of a troll living under a bridge is derived from the Scandinavian (Norwegian) fairytale Three Billy Goats Gruff.


The artists have chosen to exercise their copyright to control commercial use of Troll images. All commercial use of The Troll's image must first have permission in writing from the artists.[6] Postcards, beer, and other products approved by the artists are commercially available, and use is free to non-profit organizations.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kirby, Doug. "The Fremont Troll, Seattle, Washington". Roadside America. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  2. ^ Allen, Rebeccah (January 4, 2011). "Sculptural Seattle". The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, California: Terry Horne). ISSN 0886-4934. OCLC 12199155. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Gilmore, Susan (July 9, 2005). "Street may be rechristened for Fremont Troll". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Rolph, Amy (September 29, 2007). "Pickles, baby carriages, the Fremont Troll on wheels -- A different kind of soapbox derby". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, Washington: Roger Oglesby). ISSN 0745-970X. OCLC 3734418. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ Andrews, Theron (October 19, 2011). "V.P. Marketing" (PDF) (Press release). Bartell Drugs. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  6. ^ "A Toll For The Troll; Artists Sue Business For Using Sculpture". The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington: William Stacey Cowles). August 16, 1996. p. 13. ISSN 1064-7317. OCLC 11102610. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Fremont Troll". Fremont Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 

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