Fremont keeps the FUN in funky. This quirky Seattle neighborhood invites you to “let your inner sprite come out to play.”  Nowhere is the commitment to fun more evident than in Fremont’s authentic public art (art actually selected by the people), like the Fremont Troll.


“When people feel connected to their community, the community thrives,” according to the Fremont Arts Council, who in 1989 organized a national competition for ideas on what to do with the space under the Aurora Bridge. Five finalists were commissioned to create models of their proposals that would then be voted on by the community. The public overwhelmingly favored the Troll under the bridge.


Art critics originally denounced the Troll as an example of how ill-equipped the public is to make such decisions. But the Troll has trounced  his critics. He is “the most loved and most vandalized place in Seattle,” according to lead design/builder Steve Badanes (Piedmont-Palladino, 1997. Devil’s Workshop: 25 Years of Jersey Devil Architecture).




  • Fremont is the self-proclaimed “center of the universe.” It has to somewhere, why not Fremont? Can you prove it isn’t?


  • An actual Volkswagon Beetle is gripped by the Troll.


  • The infamous Jersey Devils, led by design/builder Steve Badanes, said it took them about 15 seconds to come up with the idea, inspired by the folk tale Billy Goat’s Gruff. The four artists are Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead.


  • Every October 31st the community pays homage to the Troll with a mobile Trollaween party.


  • Many people find taking a photograph of the Troll irresistible. Go ahead. Snap away. But while the Troll is public property, the use of the Troll’s image for commercial purposes violates the copyright held by the artists. People and Sunset magazines had to pay the Troll’s toll because of copyright violations.