Fremont Troll

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FremontTroll

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The Troll is a mixed media colossal statue, located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (also known as the Aurora Bridge). It is clutching an actual Volkswagen Beetle, as if it had just swiped it from the roadway above. The vehicle has a California license plate.[1] The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. He is interactive—visitors are encouraged to clamber on him or try to poke out his one good eye (a hubcap). The Troll is 5.5 m (18 ft) high, weighs 6,000 kg (13,000 lb), and is made of steel rebar, wire, and concrete.[2]

The segment of Aurora Avenue North under the bridge, running downhill from the Troll to North 34th Street was renamed “Troll Avenue” in its honor in 2005.[3] A caricatured replica of the Troll was entered in the Red Bull Soapbox Race (a soapbox derby) in Seattle in 2007.[4] Bartell Drugs released a commemorative Fremont Troll Chia Pet in 2011 to celebrate the Troll’s 21st birthday.[5]

History[edit]

The piece was the winner of a competition sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council in 1990, in part with the goal of rehabilitating the area under the bridge, which was becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers. It was built later that same year. The idea of a troll living under a bridge is derived from the Scandinavian fairytale Three Billy Goats Gruff.

 

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