Seattle’s sticky, rainbow-coloured Gum Wall has attracted tourists for 20 years and has dominated #Seattle Instagram posts, but now the Pike Place staple is being removed by industrial steamers.
Far, far from hygienic but beloved all the same, the Gum Wall is located in Post Alley underneath Pike Place market. But the Seattle Times reports that yesterday, protective suit-clad crew started scraping and using high-temperature pressure washers (whose water hits 126 degrees celsius) to blast off layers of the chewed-up confection, exposing the brick underneath. As they’re melted off the wall, the estimated one million masticated wads are being collected in buckets. It’s the first time the Gum Wall has been completely wiped clean, and the process (which costs £263,000) is expected to last into rest of the week.
Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority is going to weigh all the gum before it’s tossed, the Seattle Times says.
RIP Gum Wall. (For now.) [The Seattle Times]