One of the more interesting pieces of public art in Seattle can be found in Fremont; although technically, if one’s being honest, a lot of interesting things can be found in Fremont. In case you’ve never heard of Fremont, it is a suburb of Seattle that was its own town until it was annexed in 1891. Today, Fremont is known for its claim that it is “the Center of the Universe”, for its unique and funky vibe, and for its street art. Even though the reclaimed giant statute of Vladimir Lenin is fairly impressive, the Fremont Troll is by far the most-well known piece of art in Fremont.
Located under the Aurora Bridge, the Fremont Troll is an eighteen-foot high concrete and rebar sculpture that weighs over 6,000 pounds. The troll was commissioned in 1989 as part of a public arts project that was designed to combat a number of unsavory things that were occurring in and around the area and was designed by four local artists, Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. Since 1990, the troll – and his Volkswagen bug have provided results for the area, and has become a popular tourist attraction, and has inspired a yearly festival - “Troll-o-ween”, and a name change of a road to “Troll Avenue”.
Directions: The Troll is directly under the Aurora Bridge at the intersection of North 36th Street and Troll Avenue.
Tips: Unlike other pieces of public art, the troll is visitor friendly; and visitors may climb on him, and take as many pictures of him as they want. Also, while Seattle is a great tourist destination with many great things to see and do, in my opinion the troll is a great spot to stop by and visit, even if one doesn't fully have time to explore all of Fremont.