50 Years ago, the Birth of the Enterprise


In April 2013, I was out in Los Angeles for Monsterpalooza.  Tony Hardy and I went over to the little warehouse where Richard Datin and several others fabricated the original 11 foot studio model of the Enterprise.   This is located approximately at 104 E Providencia Ave. in Burbank.

Now for a little photo fun.   There are three pictures floating around the internet, showing the Enterprise when it was wheeled out into the street on December 29, 1964.   The first one shows Richard Datin in black on the left, Vern Sion in the blue overalls, and Mel Keys on the right.   This photo is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum with the studio model.  Apparently this is a snapshot of that display as you can see the reflection of someones shirt in the glass covering the display.   The photo was located by William McCullars and is credited to Volmer Jensen


The second photo was taken at a similar angle, showing Vern Sion, Mel Keys and Volmer Jensen.  This photo has some orange discoloration on lower left, but shows more of the buildings in the background


One more photo shows Datin, Sion, and Keys.  This photo is very low res and featured on Datin’s website.


I took the cropped photo with Richard Datin and blended with the other image.  They are at slightly different angles, but they align pretty well.  Not perfect, but close enough.


And then I overlapped the photo of my visit….. two pictures taken 49 years apart.   If you ever go there, the sidewalk has the same cracks that you can see in the 1964 photo.  The area hasn’t changed much.   The white building on the left is still there, now painted yellow with a black fence around the lot next to it.   There is still a small motel on the right.   Even the church and the telephone poles in the background are the same.  The cars are a little newer.  I just wish I planned the photo out a little better.


And just for grins, here is me and the Enterprise in Washington a few years ago.   The Enterprise is currently on display in the gift shop of the Air and Space Museum.   It has reported  that the Enterprise is to be moved back to the main floor as part of an upcoming renovation at the Museum.   It’s hoped that the model will get some much needed repair and clean up at that time.




Leave a Reply