The Seattle Gum Wall – A Sticky Attraction

One of the most offbeat attractions in the United States, the Seattle Gum Wall is also one of the most germ infected tourist spot in the world.

Located in Post Alley, under Park Place Market, the Gum Wall has its beginning in the early 1990s, when people, irritated that they had to wait in line to get tickets to the theater, stuck chewing gum on the wall. At first, they would use the gum to stick small coins to the wall, but in time, the tradition of the coins disappeared, and the gum remained.

Theater attendants scraped the Gum Wall twice, but gave up in 1999, when it became a certified tourist attraction of Seattle. Now it is filled with thousands of pieces of chewing gum, of any color imaginable. And, as the wall grows, the chewing gum art becomes more sophisticated. You’ll find names written with pieces of gum, and symbols like hearts or the peace sign.

But, the Seattle Gum Wall is also one of the germiest tourist destinations on Earth. In a ranking made by Trip Advisor, it came in second place, after Ireland’s Blarney Stone.

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Feedback (50 Comments)

  • Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ Posted on March 24, 2010

    I’m privileged, as a Seattle resident, to have seen this myself!

    BTW, it should be “Pike Place Market,” not “Park Place Market.”

    Thanks for the great photos!

  • Eurico Posted on March 26, 2010

    Just check out my profile picture.
    Behind me… the beautiful sticky attraction.

  • Matt K Posted on March 27, 2010

    Thanks for using my image.

  • Cassie Posted on March 29, 2010

    I go take pictures of Post Alley every year when I go to Seattle to take pictures, but I haven’t heard much about the history… :P thanks for this article.

  • Noelle Posted on March 31, 2010

    San Luis Obispo has “Bubblegum Alley”, which is basically the same thing as this, but more impressive, I think. It’s an alley with gum stuck all over two walls, and there is gum art and everything! It’s just as good as this one, I think! I don’t have any good pictures of it, but hopefully it can get more recognition as a tourist attraction because it’s really awesome :)

  • victoria Posted on April 6, 2010

    thats really cool but gross! my cuzin collects her gum in a metal bucket

  • Lily Posted on April 16, 2010

    You should see the one in san luis obispo, ca. its been there since the 70s.

  • Steve Posted on April 21, 2010

    That's disgusting

  • Steve Posted on April 21, 2010

    That's disgusting

  • Abdul Posted on April 23, 2010

    In Sri Lanka, you would be caned until the top two layers of flesh tore from your buttocks for this.

  • Steve Posted on April 28, 2010

    I have a few photos of this wall in my own collection!
    The most disgusting display of texture, color, and carnuba wax I have ever seen!

  • BL Posted on July 21, 2010

    dam you seattle for stealing our idea!! come to san luis obispo to see a better bubble gum alley

  • Steve Posted on August 23, 2010

    This passes for culture in the US.

  • Jes Posted on August 27, 2010

    Kinda Gross, but awesome nonetheless

  • OSU Posted on August 29, 2010

    My college roommate ate a piece off the wall in 2007. Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t puke.

  • Maybon Posted on November 22, 2010

    My stomach did a cartwheel when we seen this because it seemed gross but it was fun to put my own creative chewed masterpiece to the wall.

  • rebecca @ altared spaces Posted on March 24, 2011

    I linked to you today. Great photos. Wonderful story about the history of the ooey, gooey place.

  • sarah Posted on December 8, 2011

    Its a great attraction but abit minging. If that happened in UK it would be cleaned up!!