The Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington WA

Known among locals as simply the Troll, the Fremont Troll is a public sculpture in the City of Seattle, Washington. Making it to a slew of social media posts, the Fremont Troll is one of the most adored Seattle landmarks. Below, we will find out more about this amazing sight.

What Is the Fremont Troll Sculpture Like?

Located at the crossing of 36th St. and Troll Ave, the Fremont Troll is beneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge. The sculpture is so huge in size that one of its hands manages to clench an entire Volkswagen Beetle vehicle. As such, the Fremont Troll is very noticeable and certainly stands out.

Made of rebar, wire, and concrete, the Fremont Troll is technically a mixed media sculpture employing a number of materials. Being 18 ft in height, the sculpture is immensely heavy, weighing as much as 13,000 pounds in total. The Fremont Troll’s ferroconcrete alone amounts to approximately 2 tons.

By the look of it, the Fremont Troll took quite an effort to design and make. Let us get to know a bit more about the artists and the concept behind the Fremont Troll public sculpture.

How the Fremont Troll Came to Be

The Fremont Troll sculpture came to light thanks to the work of four artists from Seattle. They are Steve Badanes, Ross Whitehead, Donna Walter, and Will Martin, with Steve Badanes being the lead sculptor. While the Fremont Troll is a public sculpture, the artists have the copyright to all the images of it.

At first glance, the concept of a troll living beneath a bridge seems to be original. But according to Steve Badanes himself, the team took the sculpture’s concept from the Scandinavian folklore. To be specific, the idea comes from the Norwegian fairy tale “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

It seems that a lot of creative thought has been invested into the Fremont Troll. How has it come to enjoy a public status?

The Fremont Troll: On Guard of Fremont

By the early 1990s, the area under the George Washington Memorial Bridge had fallen into a serious state of decay. Resembling a dumping ground, the place was also a favorite spot for the local drug dealers. In an attempt to rehabilitate the area, the Fremont Arts Council came up with a solution.

Initiating an art contest in 1990, the Fremont Arts Council began searching for ideas to prevent the area’s further decay. The Fremont Troll team won the contest. And built the Fremont Troll sculpture the same year.

Curious Facts About the Fremont Troll Sculpture

Such films as Sleepless in Seattle, The Twilight Saga, and Death Note have featured the Fremont Troll sculpture.

Majungas, a Chicago rock band, named one of the songs in their Seattle Rock album “The Fremont Troll.”

Before its vandalization, the Volkswagen Beetle in the Fremont Troll’s hand had featured time capsule with Elvis memorabilia.

Troll Ave appeared after the corresponding segment of Aurora Avenue North was renamed to honor the Fremont Troll.


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