The Wall of Death

Seattle WA 98105

The Budget Savvy Travelers
Written By The Budget Savvy Travelers

Audrey and Harry Lesner, otherwise known as The Budget Savvy Travelers, are full-time travelers and digital nomads. Born and raised in Chicago, their passion to show others how to break free without breaking the budget. They are the proud winners of the 2019 Top Budget Travel Blog.

The Wall of Death

"The Wall of Death" is a permanent exhibition located under the University Bridge in Seattle. The structure was built in 1993 by the Canadian father and son team, Mowry and Colin Baden. Although the installation appears to have a sinister vibe, it actually relates to a structure used to perform motorcycle stunts.

A "Wall of Death" is often performed at carnivals, fairs, and sideshow performances. The feat is completed inside a cylinder by a motorcycle stuntman. The rider circles at such high speeds that the motorcycle is held in place by friction and centrifugal force. The cylinder in which the stunt is performed is sometimes referred to as a silodrome.

The duo's original design had intended for people to interact with the structure. For example, a ramp that was part of the installment was used by local skateboarders and cyclists. However, after a few bad accidents and direct hits with vehicles, the structure was modified. In 2008, concrete barriers were added to deter people from using it to perform tricks and stunts. Interestingly enough, the barriers contradicted the entire point of the installment. This is because "The Wall of Death" was inspired by society's daily forms of movement such as running, cycling, skating, and rollerblading—all acts which the creators celebrated as forms of art. The site is always open and is located next to the pedestrian underpass. Cover image via Wikimedia Commons by Eric Frommer (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Public Art Walking Tour in Seattle

The Wall of Death

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