The 16-foot Lenin, striding boldly and backed by flames and firearms, still evokes strong responses, though he died 91 years ago.

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 If someone said there’s a statue of Lenin in the Fremont neighborhood you’d expect it to be of John Lennon, not Vladimir.

But for a neighborhood whose motto is “De Libertas Quirkas,” the freedom to be peculiar, it’s not a surprise.

The path to Seattle from Poprad, Slovakia, for this 8-ton bronze of the Communist revolutionary occurred because Lewis Carpenter of Issaquah saw it, bought it and brought it back after the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

He died in 1994, but the family still owns it, and Jon Hegeman, with the Fremont Arts Council, says it’s still for sale for $250,000 or best offer.

The 16-foot Lenin, striding boldly and backed by flames and firearms, still evokes strong responses, though he died 91 years ago.

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Lenin was responsible for untold deaths, and many equate him with Hitler and Stalin. Vandals often paint the statue’s hands blood red.

He joins more than 60 other art installations in Fremont, including the Troll, the Guidepost marking the “center of the universe,” “Waiting for the Interurban” and the Rocket.

Fremontologist and neighborhood expert Kirby Lindsay Lanay says, “I hate it in the sense it upsets people. I understand their pain. I like art that makes you feel good.”

Mike Clark with the Fremont Arts Council says, “It’s perfectly Fremont.” At first he was opposed to the statue and “now, totally indifferent. It’s super popular and part of the (Fremont) shtick.”

Lindsay Laney says, “Love him or hate him, he’s as much a part of Fremont as the rest of our art. We dress him up in a tutu for gay pride.

“Taco del Mar made a giant (tinfoil wrapped) burrito for him to hold, but it looked like a doobie.”

There are few places in America where a statue of Lenin would find a home, and now the Communist revolutionary looks out over a capitalistic commercial business district.

Hegeman says if Lenin sells, he’d like to see another statue in its place.

Imagine John Lennon.