The Seattle Gum Wall – giant wall(s) of gum

The Seattle Gum Wall - Post Alley

Video screenshot – Syl & I visit the Seattle Gum Wall at Pike Place Market – View the video (QuickTime required)

For those of you who have never visited Seattle, here’s a little piece of Seattle character which defines this fine city. Having lived in Seattle for over 20 years, I am ashamed to have never seen the "gum wall" until today. The Gum Wall, also known as the Wall of Gum, is a Seattle oddity:

This Gum Wall, also known as the Wall of Gum, is one of the least known (and perhaps the oddest well not quite) attractions of the historic Pike Place Market – known nationally for its fish throwers and as the location of the original Starbucks logo.

It has its beginnings in the early 1990s when theatre patrons waiting in line to buy tickets or attend the theater began placing their gum on the wall. At first people used gum to anchor coins to the wall, but the practice stopped, leaving only the gum on the wall after the coins were taken by some people.

Since then there have been reports of walls of gum created in various communities across the United States. However none of them have gained the fame (actually infamy) of the Gum Wall in Pike Place Market. It continues to grow in popularity and, therefore, in length and width and height.

As the wall has grown, so has the sophistication of the gum art. The next time I visit Seattle I will photograph some of the examples: the Moon Effect, the Art Effect, the Names, the Message, etc. And leave a piece of gum. Or perhaps, more than one piece. A message perhaps?

Germaphobes will surely find themselves rubbing their hands, arms, and faces with Purell hand sanitizer while making their way through Post Alley. For a virtual tour of the Seattle Wall of Gum, check out the VR tour, or, check out this little video clip recorded (QuickTime required or visit YouTube – low resolution) with the Nokia N95. In all honesty, it’s quite disgusting to think of how many different mouths from around the globe each of these pieces of gum originated from.

Discuss - 15 Comments

  1. Glenn Wolsey says:

    Wow, that is pretty awesome! Nice job getting a video to go with the post instead of just using images.

  2. ClunkClunk says:

    There’s also a fine, well chewed gum wall in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s called Bubblegum Alley by locals, and is on Higuera Street, downtown.

  3. Derek says:

    I am sure the wall in San Luis Obispo has a larger collection of pre-chewed gum than the Seattle Gum Wall. Come to think of it, considering the amount of foot traffic that makes its way through Pike Place, I’m surprised I didn’t see more gum on the wall.

  4. “Can you just stick it on now, cause I’m getting kinda cold?”

    Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!

    Dude, I just want to say that that was REALLY gross!!!!!

  5. NatalieMac says:

    There is also a wall of gum at Canadohta Lake Amusement Park in Pennsylvania. There’s a ride that’s enclosed in a big dark room to make it more cool (with stroble lights and black lights and things) so you have to walk through a little tunnel entrance to get inside. Both walls and ceiling are covered in gum.

  6. Sam says:

    Haha, great video! What gum did you use? It wasn’t that sticky

  7. Very cool. I love Seattle, I don’t go there enough.

  8. David says:

    Gum wall¸ Oh, my.
    It IS the oddest….cannot imagine that…

  9. I have more pics and a link to a virtual tour of Seattle’s gum wall on my blog: http://seattlesavvy.blospot.com

  10. Jordan says:

    Yes! I went there a few weeks ago… (i live in Marysville)

  11. Nick says:

    The wall is disgusting. i remember having to look at it frequently when i lived near the PP market. it’s actually a good example of how disgusting the entire city is. and an example of how people in seattle have no self respect. i mean, this is a place where men still have f’ing PONY TAILS!

  12. Derek says:

    [quote comment="52779"]The wall is disgusting. i remember having to look at it frequently when i lived near the PP market. it’s actually a good example of how disgusting the entire city is. and an example of how people in seattle have no self respect. i mean, this is a place where men still have f’ing PONY TAILS![/quote]

    What? No love for old Seattle history and humor? I would much rather have the tourist attracting gum wall than the crack heads wandering around Regrade Park (dog park). And last I checked (OK I really didn’t check – making an assumption here), Seattle’s pony-tailed-men to short-haired-men ratio was way below the national average.

  13. Krocky says:

    If you go, take a photo of your gum and put it here.
    http://www.thatsmygum.com
    cool new site.

  14. [...] There’s also a similar wall located in Pike Place Market up in Seattle, WA: The Wall of Gum [...]

  15. [...] gum wall at Pike Place Market!!! Jaime was such a good sport – she hates chewing gum, but did so just [...]