Fremont is a neighborhood in Seattle (map) along the Fremont Cut of Lake Washington Ship Canal to the north of Queen Anne, the east of Ballard, the south of Phinney Ridge, and the southwest of Wallingford. Its boundaries lye roughly from the Ship Canal to the south, Stone Way N. to the east, N. 50th Street to the north, and 8th Avenue N.W. to the west. The Aurora Bridge carries Aurora Avenue over the Ship Canal to the top of Queen Anne Hill, and the Fremont Bridge carries Fremont Avenue over the canal to the hill’s base.
Occasionally called “The People’s Republic of Fremont” this former center of the counterculture has become a popular place to both visit and live. The neighborhood is home to the Fremont Troll, an 18-foot-tall concrete sculpture of a troll crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in its left hand that “lives” under the the Aurora Bridge on a street renamed Troll Avenue N. Cunning signs throughout Fremont give advice such as: “set your watch back five minutes,” “set your watch forward five minutes,” and “throw your watch away.”
A large “Welcome” sign greets visitors to “The Center of the Universe” and an unofficial motto “De Libertas Quirkas” (“Freedom to be Peculiar”) appears in brochures and websites around Fremont. The Fremont Arts Council sponsors several highly attended annual events in Fremont. One of those events is the Summer Solstice Parade & Pageant, which has made Fremont famous for its nude Solstice Cyclists.
Also important to Fremont is the large block on Linden Avenue N. that contains the B.F. Day Elementary School and B.F. Day Playground, two separate entities. B.F. Day is the longest continually operating school in the Seattle school district, having been founded in 1892. Another longstanding institution is the Fremont branch of the Seattle Public Library the city’s first branch library (circa 1921). Besides the B.F. Day Playground, Fremont has two small public parks, Fremont Peak Park off 45th Street and A.B. Ernst Park next to the library. The Burke-Gilman Trail passes through Fremont just north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Gas Works Park is just east of Fremont on the north shore of Lake Union.
Check out this recent Seattle Times article about Fremont.
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