Pike Place Needs A Deep Cleaning
In the center of Seattle city, Pike Place Market is a special community. Pike Place Market is a lively neighborhood composed of a hundred of farmers, craftsmen, small businesses and residents over and above the town's beloved public market. The Pike Place neighborhood is an important and vital group.
In addition to preserving and protecting the historical buildings and character of the neighborhood, the Pike Place Market was chartered by the city of Seattle to serve low profile individuals as artificial environment and supporter of farmers, artisans and small businesses.
Pike Place offers 363 days in the year (open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas) and includes a nine acre Market Historic District overlooking the Elliott Bay, which lies on the iconic Seattle waterfront. The market is also famous for tourists and local residents, while a lot of fresh products stalls are available, such as permanent stalls full of local fruits and vegetables all year round, butchers, flower shops, bakeries, dairy and specialty retailers as well as a wide range of restaurants.
The Pike Place Market is full of wonders and has been a center for everyone, ranging from local people in Seattle to international travelers, since its launch in 1907 to the present day. Today, the community and its producers are being supported by more than 10 million visitors. The market also houses 350 permanent people in the community who are supported by the Pike Place Market Foundation, who live above the shop front.
One of the most popular attractions in Pike Place is the “Gum Wall”. Once named the Seattle's grossest, germiest tourist attraction in Pike Place Market. Sounds sticky icky right? But this famous attraction is visited by millions of locals and tourists from around the world.
The Market Theatre Gum Wall is a wall in the middle of the Post Alley, in the Downtown Seattle district of the Pike Place Market. Similar to Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California, the Gum Wall Market Theater is the local landmark in Seattle. The wall parts are covered with a thickness of several inches, 15 feet tall and 50 feet thick.
The wall is the market theatre's boxing office. The tradition began about 1993, when patrons of the Seattle Theater Sports of Unexpected Productions stuck gum to the wall and put coins into gum blobs. Theater workers rubbed off the gum twice but finally gave up when market officials considered the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999.
People have been sticking gum on the wall since the early 1990s. It is quite unique and collective. But it's not off the beaten track, so you don't have to leave your way to see this icky attraction, and no time will be wasted if it's just not your thing.
Most people go astray, take a picture of it and go on. And it is a good place for pictures of a colorful and unique backdrop, or a cool prospect shot from the foreground with gum sculptures. You could imagine that the rubber wall is just a small wall next to the theater. Just think again. For more than 50 feet, gum is stuck in the walls along an alley. Although most of the gum is in the average arm of the person, some can be impressively high on the wall.
Although many people choose to stick a wad of chewed gum to the wall, other people become very creative. There are many designs— people with gum names, peace marks, hearts, stars and other designs— using a gum. If you want a good photo op, look for a design, because you do not see a peace sign constructed with gum every day.
It can be very difficult, not to mention gross, to pick the gum off the bottom of your shoe after accidentally stepping on it. Now think of cleaning 1 million pieces of gum from a brick wall, and some of those were already 20 years old. Sounds gross right? It’s going to be a sticky situation and it definitely needs a deep cleaning!
Few years back, Seattle’s Pike Place Market has decided to do a heavy-duty deep cleaning its famous gum wall which has accumulated 20 years worth of sugary vibrant sticky chew. With approximately 150 pieces of gum per brick, the gum wall was up to 8 feet high and 54 feet wide.
While the market cleanses the bizarre tourist attraction with a steamer every other month, it was the first time anyone had tackled the removal of the gum from the original wall, as reported by Times.
The sticky wads have to go despite their art - living status. Speaker Emily Crawford of Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority told The Seattle Times that gum removal is required to protect the historic buildings in the market district.
The PDA has hired a contractor, Cascadian Building Maintenance, “because it’s going to be a very large job,” Crawford said. The gum is to be removed by "an industrial steam machine that works as a pressure washer," said Kelly Foster of Cascadian building maintenance.
The machine melts the gum with a steam of 280-degree steam; it falls to the ground and a crew of 2 - 3 picks the gum up in five - gallon pads. Cleaning is required because the sugar in the gum erodes the brick's surface. Some reports estimate that about 1 million wads of gum cover the wall. It took the cleaners three to four days to complete cleaning the wall and leaving the wall gum-free and squeaky clean.
The cleaning job cost most likely $4,000, and market officials know that chewers are still likely to put their gum on the wall, but they hope the clean - up helps to keep it on the walls of the market.
Hundreds of people can be found in Post Alley during a sunny weekend — gum chewing, blowing bubbles and documenting the whole experience. It may sound gross, but the gum wall of Seattle is now one of the top tourist attractions of the city where every tourist visiting Seattle has to have. So, if you like to take a selfie to this bizarre wall, go and visit Pike Place Market in Seattle!