Also known as The Troll, or the Troll Under the Bridge is a public sculpture in the Fremont district of Seattle WA.
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 a VW Beetle, as if it had just swiped it from the roadway above. The vehicle has a California license plate. 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 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.
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.
Fremont has always been a vague and mysterious place. Some of the old timers here will tell you there were troll sightings ever since the Aurora Bridge went up in ’32. Of course, now there’s plenty of sightings. It seems the Troll sculpture has made Fremont into a regular magnet for Trolls, especially at the summer solstice and Halloween.
It all started in 1989 when our local Fremont Arts Council was approached about doing something more imaginative with the space under the Aurora bridge. Encouraged by the prospect of support and funding, a national competition was organized to select the best ideas. Arts Council activists Barbara Luecke, Roger Wheeler, Peter Beavis, Peter Toms and Denise Fogelman juried the field down to five finalists who were then commissioned to create models that would be voted on by the community at the Fremont Fair.
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