If it’s true that heaven is a place on Earth, then it may very well exist in Ticonderoga, NY — for Star Trek fans anyway. That’s where 49-year-old Elvis impersonator James Cawley has built a completely accurate recreation of the entire set from the 1960s original series, including the bridge, corridors, transporter room, and everything else you remember from the Starship Enterprise.
Cawley told Yahoo! he grew up a massive Star Trek fan, and the set recreation is in many ways the culmination of his lifelong passion. When he was just 18, Cawley phoned Paramount Pictures in an attempt to get in touch with the original series’ costume designer Bill Theiss about getting some fabric samples from the show — and it actually worked. The two hit it off, and Theiss eventually gifted Cawley with the series’ original set blueprints, which he then used to make his own set.
A constant work in progress, Cawley has been at work on the set since 1996, and he’s also produced a number of acclaimed fan films in it called Star Trek: New Voyages, even drawing the involvement of series veterans like George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. Recently, Cawley began running a CBS-licensed tour of the set, which will be opening for the 2017 season on April 8.
“A lot of people say, how did this start?” Cawley said. “And I explain to them, you know, I was playing Star Trek with my neighborhood buddies when I was a little kid, and I guess I still am — I just have better toys.” He can say that again.