Back in 1991 when the center of the universe was discovered, it was decided that Fremont (a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington and, indeed, the center of the universe) needed a monument that would capture their new status in the world. Many ideas were passed around as to what that monument should be, But, when a circa 1950 cold war rocket fuselage attached to a store in Bell town was being dismantled, the choice became clear. And, thus, the Fremont Rocket Seattle was born.
Until 1993 the rocket remained in storage and in 1994 a failed attempt was made to display it but engineering difficulties got in the way.
Finally, in 1994, Werner Von Hoge, the noted West Fremont rocket scientist, spearheaded a team of specialists intent on erecting the rocket in time for the summer solstice and the Liberation of Fremont.
On June 3 of that year, the rocket Seattle was successfully unveiled at the center of the universe: Fremont, Washington. And to this day, the Seattle, Washington attraction is a hit of the Fremont neighborhood along with other roadside attractions like the nearby Fremont Troll, the giant statue of Lenin, and the space sculpture.
The Seattle rocket stands tall at a staggering 53 feet and was made from military surplus using the tail boom of a Fairchild C-119 ‘Flying Boxcar’ transport aircraft. Neon laser pods were added to the nose and each fin. Painted on the front of the roadside attraction is the Fremont crest and motto: “De Libertas Quirkas” meaning “Freedom to be Peculiar.”
It’s only fitting because this rocket on a neighborhood corner is definitely a peculiar site to see!
The Fremont Rocket
Location: 3420 Evanston Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Cost: Free to see.
Hours: Always visible.
Date: June 29, 2009