Gum Wall

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The Market Theater Gum Wall in 2009.
General view in 2017.

The Market Theater Gum Wall is a brick wall covered in used chewing gum located in an alleyway in Post Alley under Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle. Much like Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California, the Market Theater Gum Wall is a local landmark. Parts of the gum coating on the wall are several inches thick, and the coating is 15 feet (4.6 m) high along a 50-foot-long (15 m) section.[1]

The wall is by the box office for the Market Theater. The tradition began around 1993 when patrons of Unexpected Productions' Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall and placed coins in the gum blobs.[2] Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up after market officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999.[1][2] Some people created small works of art out of gum.[3]

It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone.[1][4][5] It is the location of the start of a ghost tour,[6][7] and also a popular site with wedding photographers.[2] The state governor, Jay Inslee, said it is his "favorite thing about Seattle you can't find anywhere else".[8]: 10 

A scene in the 2009 Jennifer Aniston film Love Happens was shot at the wall.[9][10]

On November 3, 2015, it was announced by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority that for the first time in 20 years the great attraction gum wall would be receiving a total scrub down for maintenance and steam cleaning, to prevent further erosion of the bricks on the walls from the sugar in the gum.[11][12][13] Work began on November 10 and took 130 hours to complete, with over 2,350 pounds (1,070 kg) of gum removed and disposed of.[14][15] After the cleaning was finished on November 13, gum began to be re-added to the wall; among the first additions were memorials to the November 2015 Paris attacks.[16][17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Chen, Stephanie (July 20, 2009). "Kissing, chewing -- the 'germiest ' tourist attractions". CNN. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Eskenazi, Stuart (June 6, 2008). "Market lost & found". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  3. ^ Carter, Chelsea J. (June 30, 2006). "Gumming it: Messages designed to stick on Seattle's Gum Wall". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "Ewww! Seattle gum wall a top germy attraction". Komo News. June 13, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  5. ^ Griswold, Jamie (June 11, 2009). "Seattle Gum Wall ranks in top 5 "Germiest Attractions"". Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "Post Alley - Gum Wall". The News Tribune. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  7. ^ "The Pike Place Market Ghost Tours". SPI blog. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 28, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  8. ^ Sean Nelson with Jay Inslee (May 23, 2018), "Seattle's Most Noteworthy Marvels, Landmarks and Diversions", The Stranger's Know-it-all Guide to Seattle, by Stranger Staff, Leilani Polk (managing editor) (ed.), The Stranger, pp. 9–10
  9. ^ Mulady, Kathy (March 12, 2008). "Movie crews to close streets around Pike Place Market today". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  10. ^ Guzman, Monica (March 18, 2008). "'Traveling': Why Jen Aniston film was set in Seattle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  11. ^ Crawford, Emily (November 3, 2015). "Pike Place Market's Famous Gum Wall Receives Complete Cleaning" (PDF) (Press release). Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  12. ^ O'Brien, Kirsten. "Cleaning up Seattle's gum wall". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Seattle's Gum Wall getting a scrub down". KING-TV. November 3, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  14. ^ Bush, Evan (November 10, 2015). "Gum wall gets naked in early-morning steam cleaning". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  15. ^ Bush, Evan (November 16, 2015). "Seattle gum-wall time-lapse: Watch ton of gum disappear in a minute". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  16. ^ Frohne, Lauren (November 15, 2015). ""Re-gumming" the gum wall — for Paris". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  17. ^ DeMay, Daniel (November 16, 2015). "Gum wall not clean for long". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved November 18, 2015.

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Coordinates: 47°36′29.8794″N 122°20′25.0254″W / 47.608299833°N 122.340284833°W / 47.608299833; -122.340284833