Fremont Troll

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FremontTroll.jpg
The Fremont Troll lives beneath a bridge in Seattle. He dines primarily on small economy cars, and is famous for his popular annual Halloween party. (Photo by Kelly Cline)

The Troll, also known as the Fremont Troll or the Giant Bridge Troll, is a piece of whimsical public art in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington in the United States.

The troll is a mixed-media megalithic statue, located on North 36th Street at Aurora Avenue North, under the north end of the Aurora Bridge, aka the George Washington Memorial Bridge. It appears to be gobbling up an original Volkswagen Beetle which it swiped from the roadway above. The idea of a troll living under a bridge is derived from the Scandinavian folk tale "Three Billy Goats Gruff."

The piece was commissioned by the Fremont Arts Council in 1989, and built in 1990. The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter and Ross Whitehead. The Troll is interactive—visitors are encouraged to clamber on him or try to poke out his one good eye (a hubcap). The Troll is 18 feet high and weighs two tons. The troll himself is made of steel rebar, wire and ferroconcrete.

In 1998, a mentally ill individual shot and killed a Metro bus driver on the Aurora Bridge, causing the bus to crash through the railing onto an apartment building some 40 feet below, directly across the street from the Troll. The sculpture became an impromptu memorial for the victims of the crash, with mourners leaving flowers, notes, and mementos at its base. For a time, the Troll sported a single tear below its left eye, cut from paper.

On Halloween, neighborhood residents hold a "Trollaween" party at the site.

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