So when I began writing my book I knew I wanted certain elements. Without giving anything away, I knew there would be trolls. Imagine my surprise when I found out there is actually a troll lurking under one of Seattle’s bridges!
The Troll is actually a colossal statue, located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (or Aurora Bridge). It’s clutching an actual Volkswagen Beetle, as if it had just snatched it from the roadway above. The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. He is interactive—visitors are encouraged to climb him or try to poke out his one good eye which is made from a hubcap. The Troll is 18 ft high, weighs 13,000 lb.
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. 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.