The Valley’s Own USS Enterprise

Wish you were a part of Star Trek’s crew? No problem: The USS Enterprise is actually docked in... Westchester



Before you took the time to honor your mother this past Sunday, chances are you snuck out on Friday — or even Thursday — to take a peek at the new Star Trek picture. The sci-fi film took in a more-than-respectable $76.5 million dollars at the box office.

I admit that 11 of those dollars were mine. Though I’m not a trekkie by any stretch of the imagination — up until a week ago, I couldn’t tell a Romulan from a tribble — I did find the new adventures of Kirk, Spock, and the rest thoroughly enjoyable. Yet, as I watched them hurtle through space on another Earth-saving mission, something looked oddly familiar.

It was the spaceship, the USS Enterprise. To me, the iconic starship resembles a building that can be seen from 287, close to the junction for 95, in Westchester County. Both stunning pieces of architecture are made up of a central, circular disc that connects to two winglike structures. I admit it’s not a perfect match, but squint a little and you can see what I mean.

800 Westchester Ave.Photograph courtesy of www.800westchester.com

A little bit of digging tells me that the edifice is 800 Westchester Avenue, an office building located in Westchester’s Rye Brook. It was originally designed by Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo & Associates, architects who have built many space-age-looking offices across the country, as a world headquarters for General Foods. (In fact, it was a former General Foods employee who first told me that workers off-site referred to that building as the Enterprise.) To me, the building looks like the Enterprise landed its saucer and relaxed its outboard engines so they became the building’s wings.

So here, I thought it’d be fun to present a side-by-side comparison between the 800 Westchester Ave and the Enterprise. (A note to nerds: I tried to keep to the specs for the NCC-1701 Enterprise used in the new film, but I had to fudge at some parts.) Where would you rather work?

800 Westchester Ave.Photograph courtesy of www.800westchester.com

800 Westchester Ave vs.
the USS Enterprise

Purpose for Being Built
800 Westchester Ave: Flagship headquarters for General Foods
USS Enterprise: Flagship vessel of the Federation Starfleet

Mission
800 Westchester Ave: To "stand as a symbol of the strength and influence of the county's business community."
USS Enterprise: "To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Year Built (aka “Stardate”)
800 Westchester Ave: The 1980s
USS Enterprise: The 2250s

Size
800 Westchester Ave: The seven-story building contains 532,680 square feet of office space
USS Enterprise: The ship's 23 “decks” take up more than 2 million square feet

Dock
800 Westchester Ave: A verdant 54-acre campus with a seven-acre lake, convenient to many major highways
USS Enterprise: The gritty, busy, crowded Riverside Shipyard, convenient to the Starfleet Academy

Defenses
800 Westchester Ave: CCTV cameras, integrated security and card access system, and alarm and occupant identification monitoring system
USS Enterprise: Deflector shields, phasers, photon torpedoes

Transport In/Out
800 Westchester Ave: Shuttle to train station
USS Enterprise: Transwarp transporting (aka, being beamed up by Scotty)

Parking
800 Westchester Ave: The lot can accommodate 1,260 cars
USS Enterprise: Room for 28 shuttles and fighters

Amenities
800 Westchester Ave: Auditorium, atrium, dining room, fitness center, concierge, beauty salon, convenience store, dry cleaner, car wash, etc.
USS Enterprise: Sick bay, bridge, transporter pad — and, to tell you the truth, I have no idea what takes up the rest of all those square feet. I’m pretty sure this ship doesn't even have a holodeck. What did the Enterprise crew do during all of those downtimes in space travel?

 


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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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