Small towns across America erect statues to celebrate their hometown heroes: the people who grew up there and went on to stardom. Riverside, Iowa followed in this tradition by mounting a bronze statue in the likeness of their most famous resident. The catch? He hasn’t actually been born yet. And he won’t be born until 2228. This is the Captain Kirk statue, created for the small town in Iowa where the Star Trek hero will eventually be born.
Riverside, Iowa is known as the “future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk,” a Star Trek legend who helms the USS Enterprise in books, TV shows, and movies. The Iowa town celebrates their self-proclaimed status with a plaque, a museum, and an annual TrekFest celebration among a plethora of banners and signs that mark buildings and light poles around town.
In July 2018, James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise officially came to Riverside, Iowa (his fictional future birthplace) in the form of a Bronze Captain Kirk Statue.
The Captain Kirk statue was sculpted by Jurek Jakowicz of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and unveiled at the 2018 Trekfest XXXIV (the town’s annual Star Trek parade). Whether or not the sculpture resembles William Shatner is up for debate. But whether or not the town got his, or anyone’s permission to use his likeness is up for debate too.
But, in the end, Kirk has been played by other actors, like Chris Pine, and may again be in the future. So while it might not look exactly like William Shatner, it does look close enough to a fictional version of a fictional character.
Where is the Captain Kirk statue? You can find the Bronze Statue of James T. Kirk in Railroad Park in Riverside, Iowa. He stands in front of a painted fence with a Star Trek Mural and the phrase “Space The FInal Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.” (The fence used to be located at the salon where the birthplace plaque was located. Both were relocated in 2021).
While you’re in Riverside, Iowa, be sure to check out all of the other attractions in the Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk: the Star Trek Museum, the place where Kirk will be conceived, and the memorial plaque.
Captain Kirk Statue
Address: 51 W First St, Riverside, IA
Cost: Free to See
Hours: Always Visible
Parking available across the street in the Voyage Home Museum’s parking lot.