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November 17, 2015 -
Maintenance & Operations
Pike Place Market in Seattle is known for the tossing of fish and as the site of the first Starbucks location.
But the market, which opened in 1907, is home — though not for much longer — to a quirky landmark that doubles as the world’s second-germiest attraction in the world behind the Irish Blarney Stone according to TripAdvisor.
The Seattle landmark is known as the gum wall, which has accumulated in some estimates more than 1 million pieces of gum piled onto walls up to 6 inches thick according to a Seattle news site, sentinelsource.com.
A contractor was hired to steam clean the walls at the cost of $4,000 and clean up the sticky situation. According to the article, gum has been placed on the walls by visitors for more than 20 years, and has never been cleaned since.
The market is hosting a photo contest on its Facebook page to celebrate the cleaning, which, no doubt is likely to attract more gum soon after the wall is exposed. Officials are expecting that to happen.
“We’re not saying it can’t come back," a market spokeswoman told the Seattle Times. “We just need to wipe the canvas clean and keep (it) fresh.”
An impressive video of the sticky walls can be seen here.
A video and follow-up story about the process of cleaning the walls can be found here.