And a hat, to bootGeorgetown Hat n' Boots, Seattle, WA

Seattle Hat n' Boots sketch by Chandler O'Leary

For every alive-and-well Paul Bunyan statue out there, there’s a roadside attraction that’s gone to seed—or given up the ghost entirely. And since you don’t see a lot of vintage kitsch in museums or public trusts, these landmarks are too easily overlooked by community restoration projects.

Not so in Seattle, my friends.

Seattle Hat n' Boots sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Hat-n-Boots have been beloved by Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood for sixty years. Originally the respective marquee and restrooms (!) for a western-themed gas station along Highway 99, these behemoths are the stuff of legends. (After all, they make a cameo in National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Elvis himself supposedly stopped for gas there.)

Thanks to the introduction of the Interstate highway, the gas station was short-lived, and by the mid-eighties, the landmarks were crumbling. Yet rather than demolish them, the City relocated and restored them in 2003, making them the centerpieces of a neighborhood park.

For that, Seattle easily deserves a tip of one’s (44-foot) hat.

Seattle Hat n' Boots sketch by Chandler O'Leary

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