Pacific Science Center finds a piece from the 1962 World’s Fair in their Underground Tunnels

I am a proud supporter and follower of the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. I enjoy their daily posts on Facebook, especially their Throwback Thursday ones. Yesterdays post was a real winner, here is what they said…

Here’s a great #throwbackthursday straight from the depths of the tunnels under our campus.

We found a DNA helix model represented by the 4 suits in a deck of cards in the tunnels that we recognized from pictures of the original Science Pavilion Exhibits during the 1962 World’s Fair.

This particular model was a part of the “Development of Science” Building, now currently known as Building 4. As the second building in the intended Science Pavilion sequence, the “Development of Science” Building was filled with displays intended to address “the development of science from simplest beginnings” and to “show how man has improved his ability to see, define, measure, and predict events of the natural world”.

It came with this photo…


Okay, first of all. How big is their underground tunnel system? Are they talking super villain lair big or just a place to park some cars? More importantly why is a piece of history like this languishing in a tunnel? I know that it is probably because of budget issues or maybe they don’t have a place it would fit, but I hope that those are two issues they might want to think about overcoming.

I am a big fan of the 1962 World’s Fair and would love to see this piece brought out of storage, cleaned up and put on some sort of permanent display and would be willing to donate money specifically for that purpose. If you feel the same way, feel free to Contact the Pacific Science Center and tell them so.

If you would like to see this Helix in its former glory, it was featured prominently in a scene in the classic, Century 21 Calling (both normal and MST3K versions). Enjoy!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I used to work at PSC (1981-2000), and one of my jobs there meant going down into the tunnels every day. (The tunnels are a single corridor, with waist-high ledges, that follows the foot-print of the buildings.)
    Up until the mid-90s at least, when my new job there meant not going thru the tunnels any more, there were several pieces of old exhibits in the tunnels, kept there because they could no longer be used in the exhibits but too good to throw away.
    If there was anything usable with this DNA model, I’m sure they would have found some way of resurrecting it.

  2. Thanks for sharing your info. I want to get into these tunnels now.

    “If there was anything usable with this DNA model, I’m sure they would have found some way of resurrecting it.”

    That makes me sort of sad, because that might meant that they will let it sit there until it “rots”, sell it or throw it away. I just hope that if they do, that it will wind up in the hands of someone who might not display it for science education, but for its historical significance. Someone suggest MOHAI. I emailed them and a few other places. I doubt it will have any effect, but I thought I would make a little noise.

  3. You might also be interested to know that the model is inaccurate. Scientists have since learned that DNA twists the opposite direction. I work at PSC and my coworker has done some research on this model.

  4. Very interested to know that. Thanks for sharing and stopping by. Was your coworker checking out the model to see if could potentially be re-used? Was that why it was not used or was it that and it was in too rough a shape?

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: