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Bubbles popped: Seattle gum wall removed after 20 years of sticking (VIDEOS)

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DH Vancouver Staff Nov 10, 2015 9:41 pm

Two men took upon the task of melting one million wads of chewing gum plastered on the walls of Pike Place Market’s Post Alley in Seattle this morning.

Of course, the gum wall did not happen overnight – the area became its own tourist attraction after two decades of passersby sticking gums onto the walls.

According to the Seattle Times, the contracted cleaning crew steam in protective suits cleaned the walls, causing the gum to melt and fall onto the ground. Steam cleaning was chosen as the method to ensure the historic brick walls will not be damaged from the process.

The gum wall began organically in 1991 when nearby theatre patrons began sticking gum onto the alley’s walls, KUOW News reports. The guerrilla public art piece took off when it was featured in an edition of National Geographic magazine.

And apparently, there are also people who eat the gum late at night after leaving the bars. To be more specific, drunk people who make bets with each other on eating the gum.

But this is not the end of Seattle’s gum wall – the owners of the building fully expect people to begin sticking their gum again soon. What will the ‘fresh canvas’ look like in 20 years from now?

Vancouver’s very own version of chewed gum public art was temporary: During the summer of 2014, the Vancouver Art Gallery had a seven-foot-tall ‘Gumhead’ sculpture outside its entrance on Howe Street as part of a Douglas Coupland exhibit.

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Glad we got to add our signature while we could. R.I.P. #gumwall #seattle #pikesplacemarket

A photo posted by Annette (@axinecreative) on

RIP Post Alley Gum Wall #pikeplacemarket #postalley #gumwall #seattle #mygumisgonenow A photo posted by Haley June (@haleyjuneee) on

The Last Gum Wall. #껌 #벽 #시애틀 #여행 #미소 #행복 #맞팔 #seattle #gumwall #bye #cleaning A photo posted by Breana Jeong (@jeonghy_0731) on

#PikePlaceMarket #GumWall #Seattle #WA #2015

A photo posted by Kelvin Wang (@syerkel) on

#Gumwall A photo posted by UO Joy (@leekaiyee7) on

This 20 year old landmark is getting cleaned today. I wonder how long it’ll take to come back

A photo posted by Ryan Lally (@ryan_lally) on


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DH Vancouver Staff
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