The Wardenclyffe building in Shoreham, Long Island is Nikola Tesla’s last surviving workshop and was recently up for sale. Fearing the historic property would be purchased by those unsympathetic to Tesla and his work, Matthew Inman of the comic web site, The Oatmeal, began an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $850,000 in order to get a matching grant from New York State, which would provide enough money to purchase the 16-acre property. The campaign was hugely successful and through the course of the 45-day fundraising period, the group raised $1.37 million and also received the grant for a total of $2.2 million.
On Friday, the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, the group behind the movement, sealed the deal with the Agfa Corporation, the owners of the property, who had listed it at $1.6 million. Work will now commence to restore the site, which includes a large brick structure designed by Tesla’s friend Standford White. The building, while severely dilapidated, still features the original brick construction, windows and rafters. Back in 1903, Tesla erected a large wooden tower for his experiments, where one night it fired bolts of electricity into the sky. The tower was Tesla’s hope to transmit electricity wirelessly, but unfortunately it was dismantled and sold for scrap after Tesla sold the workshop to pay off his debts and his dream was never realized. Extra funds raised by the campaign will go towards the restoration and renovation of the site to turn it into a museum dedicated to the inventor’s work and legacy.
Images ©Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe