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One museum we’ll be visiting

April 11th, 2004 · 1 Comment

We don’t go over to Seattle often, and we don’t make it to many museums. But somehow I think we’ll be making a trip to Paul Allen’s new Science Fiction and Hall of Fame Museum…

From Thursday’s Seattle Times: Unique sci-fi museum ready for launch

The zillionaire philanthropist who named a company Vulcan has put Captain Kirk’s chair from “Star Trek” and other rarities from his personal collection alongside high-tech interactive exhibits in the estimated $20 million facility, which will open to humans in mid-June.

Ray guns. First editions of books such as “The Time Machine.” Darth Vader’s helmet. They’re in the first-of-its-species museum that will occupy 13,000 square feet in the “blue potato” portion of Allen’s Experience Music Project building at Seattle Center.

“He loves to collect the things that he loves,” said museum director Donna Shirley, a former project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who headed the (real) Mars Exploration Program. “He has a wonderful collection of artifacts and things like first editions, and when he decided that he wanted to put them on display was when they were taking the ‘Artist’s Journey’ out of EMP. The exhibit kind of grew into a whole museum.”

You won’t be able to sit in Kirk’s chair or fire the phasers; they’ll be protected by force fields or other devices. But some interactive exhibits would make any “Amazing Stories” pulp writer take note. They’ll include a Hall of Fame wall with great writers’ images etched into glass bricks, accompanied by video footage of each; and a 12-foot “Spacedock” screen that gives viewers a window view from a space station.


Even though the museum’s contents have been under fairly tight wraps, Grieve said fans are confident it won’t be lame because of the stellar names on its advisory panel, including writers Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury. The world’s first science-fiction museum also confers some respectability on a genre whose influence is more pervasive than its mainstream recognition.

The newspaper version of this story had a picture of Captain Kirk’s chair.

If anyone plans make a trip to visit the museum, please let me know…maybe we could meet you there sometime this summer!

Tags: geek

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Anita Rowland // Apr 11, 2004 at 4:19 pm

    I think many of my fannish crowd will be joining as members.

    I still think this name is very generic! I thought Experience Science Fiction was better.