US group buys Tesla property, plans science center (Update)

May 07, 2013 by Frank Eltman
An undated file photo provided by the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, shows a plaque affixed to a Shoreham, N.Y. building that was once the laboratory of physicist/inventor Nicola Tesla. The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, which raised $1.3 million in a six-week online fundraising effort, has purchased the laboratory and property for $850,000. (AP Photo/Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, File)

A community group that raised $1.3 million in a six-week online fundraising effort has purchased a laboratory once used by visionary scientist Nikola Tesla.

"We're feeling very excited and gratified that we've reached this milestone," said Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, on New York's Long Island. Her group announced last week that it had finalized the purchase of the Tesla lab and property for $850,000.

Tesla was a rival of Thomas Edison who imagined a world of free electricity. He conducted experiments in the early 20th century at his laboratory in Shoreham, about 65 miles (105 kms) east of New York City.

Volunteers have struggled for nearly two decades to raise money to acquire the property with limited success.

Their effort got a jolt of support last summer from Seattle cartoonist Matthew Inman, a Tesla fan who started promoting a fundraising effort on his website, theoatmeal.com.

Within six weeks, they had raised more than $1.3 million from 33,000 donors in the U.S. and 108 countries.

In this Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 file photo, a brick tower rises above the Shoreham, N.Y., building that was once the laboratory of Nicola Tesla. The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, which raised $1.3 million in a six-week online fundraising effort, has purchased the laboratory and property for $850,000. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman, File)

Tesla abandoned the lab in 1917. For many years it was a photo chemical processing plant; in 1993, officials determined that the property's groundwater had been polluted with cadmium and silver. A remediation effort overseen by state environmental regulators was completed last year.

Alcorn said that the purchase of the property was a key first step but noted much work needs to be done before the group can realize its goal: "to create a fitting memorial to Tesla and a science center to benefit the entire world."

She estimated another $10 million will be required to renovate the property, which is overrun with brush and includes several dilapidated buildings in the complex that will likely need to be demolished.

Alcorn said her group's first priority is to secure the property from further vandalism. Additional fundraisers are being discussed, but Alcorn had no specific details.

Among Tesla's accomplishments were developments in alternating current and research in the creation of wireless communication and radio. Born to Serb parents in modern-day Croatia, he died in New York City in 1943.

Explore further: Engineers develop gift guide for parents

4.9 /5 (10 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tesla Roadster Goes 313 Miles on a Single Charge

Nov 09, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Tesla is becoming synonymous with high performance electric cars. Indeed, the Tesla car company has been making efforts to create a brand of sports car that runs on electricity, and does so ...

Tesla CEO vows to pay off US loan early

Feb 27, 2013

The chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors says his company plans to pay back an Energy Department loan in half the time required by the U.S. government.

Recommended for you

Engineers develop gift guide for parents

Nov 21, 2014

Faculty and staff in Purdue University's College of Engineering have come up with a holiday gift guide that can help engage children in engineering concepts.

Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

Nov 20, 2014

David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was 89.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (4) May 07, 2013
Sub: Science and Technology forward
This is welcome step in the right direction- Spirit of Science to excel during next century.
Space Cosmology vedas Interlinks provides inputs beyond van-Allen belts.
Telekinetic
2.6 / 5 (5) May 07, 2013
Tesla was the world's most prolific scientist whose genius eclipsed Edison's. It's unfortunate that it took this long to acknowledge and honor him with the restoration of his lab. Most Tesla fans have been relegated to the "fringe" of science, but now he'll become accepted as "legitimate". Tesla was a victim of corporate capitalist greed and became persona non grata in the world of finance when he offered free energy to the citizens of the world. J.P. Morgan pulled the plug on financing Tesla's research and changed the course of history for the worse. It allowed the killer John D. Rockefeller to monopolize the energy sector with his oil.
anti-geoengineering
1.8 / 5 (5) May 08, 2013
A lot of his ideas were stolen and turned into weapons after his death. Tesla was a gift for humanity and greedy bankers and snakes took that from us.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) May 08, 2013
They should rather invest money into replication and publishing of his findings, the experiments with scalar waves in particular.
Telekinetic
1 / 5 (2) May 08, 2013
They should rather invest money into replication and publishing of his findings, the experiments with scalar waves in particular.

By resurrecting his esteem in the scientific community as it had been in his own time, researchers will find the money to continue his work. The lab, in its present state, serves to intimidate independent scientists. The continuation of his work may require another Tesla, though.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.