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Pioneer Square is Seattle's oldest neighborhood, and it wasn't always a pleasant place to visit. The Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour takes visitors around Pioneer Square above ground and also to a hidden Seattle that now lies underground. About 25 square blocks of Pioneer Square have hollow spaces under the sidewalks, thanks to peculiarities of the reconstruction after the great Seattle fire of 1889.
Crouched under the Aurora Bridge is an 18-foot tall, two-ton sculpture of a troll clutching a VW Bus, and glaring at passersby. Created in 1990 by four Seattle-based sculptors, this quirky public art piece exemplifies the free spirit of the people living in the Fremont district. These funky natives dress their beloved troll up every Halloween to thank him for protecting them from the 1996 mudslide. On an average day, tourists and locals alike hang from his shaggy hair, and make a seat out of his hands and head. Only a three to four block walk from Fremont's business district, it is perhaps the best souvenir photo one can take.
Housing some of the world’s biggest shoes, the Giant Shoe Museum, located at the Old Seattle Paperworks shop, is a flamboyant museum which resembles a mini carnival with its circus shoe theme entrance and vibrant colors and banners hanging across the store. The wall on its west end holds some of the largest shoes you would ever see, including the wingtip shoes belonging to Robert Wadlow, who was known as the world's tallest man. A stop here is sure to liven up your day.
Standing tall at 16 feet (5 meters), Statue of Lenin is the country's largest memorial built in honor of the noted Communist leader. An expression in bronze, the sculpted work of art is a major landmark in Fremont town of Seattle. Emil Venkov, a Bulgarian artist, was commissioned by the then Czechoslovak and Soviet forces to erect a plaque for their leader. did a splendid job of depicting Lenin as a noteworthy revolutionary, as opposed to his earlier portrayals as an educator and theorist. Completed in the year 1988, the statue was in a bad shape until Lewis Carpenter salvaged it from a local dump.
The Wall of Death is a concrete art installation, designed by Mowry and Colin Baden, which is situated beneath the University Bridge. Resembling a structure used to perform bike and skateboard stunts, the structure was originally a hub for bikers and skateboarders until a major accident caused such activities to be banned. After this incident, a number of spikes were added to this monument, so that now its is just a nice spot for a photo op.
Sounding exactly like it is, the Gum Wall came into being when patrons to a nearby theater started sticking pieces of chewing gum to the wall, after getting irritated by having to wait in long lines. When cleaning the walls a couple of times didn't ward off the people, the theater workers just let the chewed gum pieces remain. Today, a popular tourist attraction, the wall is covered with thousands of pieces of chewed gum, making the gum wall 15 feet (4.57 meters) high and considerably thicker at some parts. However gross it may sound, the colorful display of bubblegum coupled with artistic endeavors by a lot of people, make it for an interesting visit. If you decide to make a stopover at this wonderful place, don't forget to carry some gum!