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Seattle, Washington

Museum of Pop Culture

A museum dedicated to the history and exploration of both popular music and science fiction. 

In Seattle, where art seems to spring from the ground like weeds from sidewalk cracks, it takes a truly audacious design to generate as much attention as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s contribution to the local art scene.

Designed by Frank Gehry, the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum or EMP|SFM—locals call it the Blob—is a place where music and science fiction meet.

Opened in 2000 as just the Experience Music Project, it struggled at first, and, in an attempt to bolster attendance, Paul Allen added the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in the South wing of the building. Originally treated as separate museums, they have since merged, attracting a curious mix of music lovers and sci-fi aficionados ever since.

The Seattle Center Monorail runs through the museum.

Update March 2017: Renamed Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in 2016, the complex includes many additional genre exhibits. Semi-permanent exhibits are dedicated to horror films, fantasy, indie video gaming, and the history of the guitar. Limited-run exhibits are also featured.

Know Before You Go

Right beside the Space Needle. You can't miss it.