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.
Although the walls will be cleaned down to bare brick, officials expect the gum-sticking tradition will quickly return.
. 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.
. Fernando Soberania uses a tool to scrape layers of gum from the wall.
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.
Officials said they chose steam over pressure-washing to conserve the historic market's brick walls.
. Jessica Wang, left, visiting from Los Angeles, has her photo taken by Michael Teylan, right, at the "gum wall" at on Nov. 9.
. A worker carries a bucket full of gum that was removed from the wall.