Located along one stretch of wall in the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, the World Famous Giant Shoe Museum offers passersby the chance to deposit a few cents for a peek at some colossal shoes in an homage to the sideshow attractions of yesteryear.
The so-called museum is based on the giant shoe collection of one Danny Eskenazi. Eskenazi became fascinated with collecting colossal shoes after discovering that his grandfather had once owned a shoe that had belonged to the World’s Tallest Man, Robert Wadlow. A bounty of $1,000 was offered to find the missing shoe; still yet to be recovered, the reward still stands. In the meantime, Eskenazi continued to collect other giant shoes, including another that had once belonged to Wadlow.
After a graphic designer mocked up the boardwalk-style display front, the museum was pitched to the city and finally approved. Now visitors can step up to the stereoscopic-style viewing pieces and for just a quarter, the curtain pulls back to reveal some of the largest shoes they are likely to have seen. Among the shoes on display are the aforementioned Wadlow Brogue, a pair of “Real Clown Shoes,” a massive pair of novelty loafers, and an assorted collection of oversize shoes (this one costs two quarters).
Fans of the odd and amusing would be hard pressed to find an attraction that speaks more to the spirit of the sideshows of yore than the World Famous Shoe Museum. Anywhere outside of Coney Island, that is.
Know Before You Go
Located below the main arcade level, adjacent to (and owned by) Old Seattle Paperworks.