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.
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.