Fremont: Seattle’s “Center of the Universe”

Fremont: Seattle’s “Center of the Universe”

Freamont Seattle Image1Seattle’s funky artsy Fremont neighborhood is evolving with high tech injections in an already high tech city. The community has about 14,000 residents and for its annual Solstice Parade welcomes about 100,000 visitors.

It was a blue-collar neighborhood in the 1940s and 50s, artsy-bohemian in the 1960s through 80s, and high-tech hipster from the 1990s to today. This walk traverses a quiet residential neighborhood as well as a vibrant commercial district, and includes a long and moderately steep hill. You will enjoy abundant eye candy at photogenic sites such as full-size topiary dinosaurs, a monumental metal statue of Vladimir Lenin from Czechoslovakia, sweeping vistas (clear weather required), high tech corporate office buildings (Google, Amazon, Adobe, Tableau, Getty Images, and Impinj), Seattle’s oldest continuously operating public school, a tree-lined “silicon” canal, and the most frequently opened drawbridge in the U.S.

Freamont Seattle Image2One of the most popular new innovations in Fremont is a collection of craft breweries and distilleries. Even locals take the walking/drinking tours! Along the way are designated City landmark buildings, an organic chocolate factory, public art with interesting backstories, and a historic biker bar turned Cajun restaurant. Fremont is also a popular location for mainstream and independent film makers so you will see locations used for 2013’s “Lucky Them” starring Toni Collette, and 1999’s “10 Things I Hate About You” starring Heath Ledger. You will also see Fremont Studios–home of the Seattle Erotic Film Festival, many trade shows and exhibitions, and Jeff Bezos’ recent premier of Amazon’s 3-D Fire smartphone.

Freamont Seattle Image3Fremont is also famous as a neighborhood where costumed players unexpectedly cavort in the streets. Thousands of zombies regularly challenge the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest entrail dragging crowd. Hundreds of Santas conduct an annual holiday pub crawl, and the 5k Briefcase Relay draws crowds to watch runners wearing business attire. You will walk by Fremont’s internationally famous Troll, a sculpture beneath Seattle’s Aurora Bridge, which is the site of costumed “Trolloween” revelry every October 31st.

For a neighborhood that was a dense Douglas Fir forest as recently as 1886, Fremont has come a long way. No matter when you take this walk, you will see Fremont’s colorful mixture of artists, role players, free spirits, and nerds along with historic architecture, public art, commercial entrepreneurs, and natural scenery.

 

Christine PalmerChristine Palmer Christine Palmer earned a master’s degree in Public Historical Studies at UC Santa Barbara in 1990 after fifteen years of volunteer and academic experience in historic preservation. Her book, published in 1991, New Deal Adobe: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Reconstruction of Mission La Purisima, 1934-1942, is a compilation of documentary research and oral histories collected from veterans of the 1930s CCC who reconstructed the Mission La Purisima State Park. She has also been employed as staff for the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1995, she began working for the King County, Washington Historic Preservation Program in Seattle to survey historic structures in suburban and rural communities. In 1997 she returned to Santa Barbara for employment as the City Historian where she staffed the City Historic Landmarks Commission and the Architectural Board of Review. As of 2005, she returned to Seattle to work as the Preservation Advocate for the nonprofit public development authority Historic Seattle. In 2008 she was employed as the consultant to the Landmark Preservation Board for the City of Bothell, Washington. By 2012 her vintage fashion addiction became full blown so she has volunteered many hours assisting to curate the apparel collection at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. In 2014 she was honored to be selected as the guest curator for the vintage shoe exhibit, “Sole Obsession,” at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn, Washington.

 

Insight Cities arranges this tour only for private groups with advance notice, at present. Thanks for emailing us at [email protected].

 

Groups of over 10 should contact us at [email protected] in order to get a special rate for their party.

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