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A Chewy Affair: Seattle’s ‘Gum Wall’ Gets Spruced Up

Crews are cleaning Seattle's famed "gum wall", where tourists and locals have been sticking their used chewing gum for the past 20 years.

. Twenty years worth of chewing gum is pictured before its removal in Post Alley at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington on Nov. 11, 2015.

The wall is plastered with wads of gum in a kaleidoscope of colors, some stretched and pinched into messages, hearts and other designs. People also have used the gooey gobs to paste up pictures, business cards and other mementos.

Jason Redmond / AFP - Getty Images

. Fernando Soberania, left, and Javier Ramirez, right, work to clean layers of gum.

Although the walls will be cleaned down to bare brick, officials expect the gum-sticking tradition will quickly return.

Ted S. Warren / AP

. People first began smooshing their gum to the wall while waiting for shows at the nearby Market Theater. Since then, the "gum wall" has expanded beyond one wall and onto other walls of an alley, pipes and even the theater's box office window.

George Rose / Getty Images

. Fernando Soberania uses a tool to scrape layers of gum from the wall.

Ted S. Warren / AP

. Pieces of gum that were cleaned off of Seattle's famous "gum wall" are shown in a bucket.

Emily Crawford, a Pike Place Market spokeswoman, said the cleaning crew will collect and weigh the gum each day it is removed. The cleaning is expected to take three days.

By Crawford's rough calculation, there are about 2,200 pounds of gum on the walls.

Ted S. Warren / AP

. Louise Kaiwi, who was visiting Seattle from Hawaii, pretends to lick a wall full of gum.

Officials said they chose steam over pressure-washing to conserve the historic market's brick walls.

Ted S. Warren / AP

. Jessica Wang, left, visiting from Los Angeles, has her photo taken by Michael Teylan, right, at the "gum wall" at on Nov. 9.

Ted S. Warren / AP

. A worker carries a bucket full of gum that was removed from the wall.

Ted S. Warren / AP