Home Previews & Reviews Artifacts Found Under Space Needle: Paul Allen Bequeaths Other-Worldly Specimens

Artifacts Found Under Space Needle: Paul Allen Bequeaths Other-Worldly Specimens

If the Space Needle were an inter-galactic beacon (and we’re not saying it’s not), signaling other-worldly visitors to excavate the treasures to be found inside the amorphous structure at its base, AKA MoPOP, Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, the explorers would uncover the tools and the prototypes of creative, musical, artistic and scientific intelligence, in contrast to the artificial intelligence of Allen’s other Institute across Lake Washington. 

Inside the spectacular, Frank Gehry-architected MoPOP showplace that defies any form of linear geometry, unlike the Seattle Central Library (itself a spaceship replicant), earth’s visitors could cast their eyes upon the original Star Trek captain’s command post, the venerated captain’s chair from the Starship Enterprise that has boldly sought new life forms across the universe.

One of those strange new worlds may have been the Imperial outpost of Darth Vader whose masked visage of darkness is also on display at MOPOP. Vader’s mask is a five-star attraction that is another incredible part of the Paul Allen legacy going on permanent display at the museum.

Allen was an incredible man of the people, mirroring their love of truly original and inspirational forms of music, space age fantasy and far-flung adventure. His bequest is testament to the farthest one can travel at warp speed on a starship or transport off of one, and the furthest one can travel on the frets of an electric guitar. 

Other amazing pieces that can be unearthed in a MoPOP Seattle excavation are:

• A complete alien creature suit from the 1979 film Alien

• A full-size flying “Spinner” vehicle from the 1982 film Blade Runner

• A collection of Nichelle Nichols’ (Lt. Nyota Uhura) hand-annotated scripts from the Star Trek television and film series (1965-1998)

And the curation of iconic musical artifacts:

• A 1951 Epiphone FT 79 acoustic guitar owned by Jimi Hendrix

• A hand-painted and smashed Univox electric guitar owned by Kurt Cobain

• Handwritten lyrics by David Bowie for “Starman” from the early 1970s

• The motorcycle jacket worn by Prince in his 1984 film Purple Rain

• The iconic hat worn by Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz

To view the Allen collection first-hand, visit MoPOP’s website for tickets and access to the following exhibits:

  • Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction
  • Fantasy: Worlds of Myth & Magic
  • Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film
  • Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses [24×7]