While the original sets used to film Star Trek in the 1960s are long gone, the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour is a faithful (and licenced) recreation of those sets.
Star Trek fan James Cawley has personally recreated many of the sets, and they are available to visit in his museum in Ticonderoga, New York, just north of Albany. The small, unassuming building doesn’t look like anything special, but for fans of Star Trek, it quickly becomes apparently that this is a very special building.
As you enter the building, there is a desk to check in for the tour. The lobby area also contains a gift shop and a series of displays of original props, costumes, and various Star Trek merchandise over the years.
The sets haven’t been designed to feel like a real spaceship, but to give the feel of walking through the original Desilu Studios soundstages. Admission to the museum gets you a guided tour of the sets, and these guides are very knowledgeable and full of little-known facts. When my friends and I visited in the summer of 2019, owner James Cawley was leading our tour. While I really grew up more watching The Next Generation, my friends and I couldn’t resist wearing classic uniform costumes for the tour!
As you first enter, you’ll find yourself in the Enterprise corridors. These corridors link the various sets, and really make it feel like you are on the Enterprise. The guides will show how just one corridor was used on the show, but small changes to lighting, signage, and camera angles made it look different every time.
The corridors have even been equiped with working communications panels, where the tour guide can trigger a Red Alert.
The Transporter Room
The Transporter Room was seen in many episodes in Star Trek, and has been completely recreated, including the transporter pad and the control panel.
The Conference Room
As James explained, the set of the Conference Room was also used as the mess hall, so his recreation features a number of recreational props. This includes a 3D Chess set and Spock’s Vulcan lute.
He also showed us one of the flags from the set, which closely resembles the Cuban flag. This is to pay tribute to Desi Arnaz, who owned Desilu Studios with Lucille Ball.
The Sickbay area is made up of two rooms. The first is the operating room, with a bed in the middle for Dr. McCoy to work on his patients.
The second room is a recovery room, with a couple beds for patients to rest and be monitored.
Dr. McCoys Office
Dr. McCoy’s office is also included in the sets. Dr. McCoy’s desk is at the centre of the room.
The office is also filled with a number of interesting objects, including a plant, a voice recorder, and a number of items on display on his shelves.
The science lab is adjacent to Dr. McCoy’s office. There were lots of items here, including a tribble. There were also some every-day spray bottles, which James told us were used on the show because they had not yet become household items when the show was made.
Captain Kirk’s Quarters
Captain Kirk’s quarters have been set up just like they appeared on the show, including his sleeping area and his office. While most trinkets are similar to items appearing on the show, James showed us one item that is original. A gold box was used on the set and appeared in Kirk’s office, and is now part of the set tour.
The Engineering section has been completely recreated. As you enter, you’ll first see Scotty’s office area, before continuing into the main Engineering section. You’ll also notice one of the Jefferies tubes used by engineers to access all areas of the ship.
The tour culminates in a visit to the Enterprise Bridge. As you walk off the turbolift and step foot onto this bridge, it will take your breath away. You truly feels like you are right there on the Bridge, with Kirk, Spock, Uhuru, and the whole cast. The sounds and lighting help enhance that feeling. I can only imagine how much work went into creating this replica, but it is incredibly impressive.
In addition to seeing the various stations around the bridge, the clear highlight is sitting in the Captain’s chair. You’ll treasure this unique photo!
If you are in the Ticonderoga area, The Star Trek Original Series Set Tour is well worth a visit. One friend who isn’t a Star Trek fan even remarked how much she enjoyed the visit. It will truly make you feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1960s when the show was filmed. The cost is very reasonable, and just to sit in the captain’s chair alone is worth the price of admission!
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