I hopped in a zipcar (I’m a Brooklyn girl and don’t drive much), then drove from NYC out to Shoreham, Long Island several months ago. [Sorry for my slow video-editing on this project!] and trespassed around the site of inventor Nikola Tesla‘s 20th Century Wardenclyffe tower and laboratory to see how it looks nowadays.
As of April 2012, it’s looking pretty bad. Actually, surprised there are still structures there. Maybe a fierce nerd like us it watching over it.
The Wardenclyffe. Laboratory complex seems to remain mostly structurally in tact (except the tower that may or may not have been demolished by the US Government), yet is covered in graffiti and likely frequented by local teens smoking some weed.
I have no evidence to support that latter theory, it was just a feeling I got.
The foundations of the Wardenclyffe wireless tower, which was torn down in 1917, are all that remain of that separate structures.
In a mind-numbingly craptastic documentary I watched last year, it seems a group of engineers took measures at some point (with concrete) to preserve the wooden piers that go so deep into the ground, they stopped excavating at around 300 feet. So at least it has that going for it in the way of being looked after.
But in a rad turn of events as interest in Tesla has increased over the last few years, my huge crush on internet comic artist The Oatmeal grew even stronger as he partnered with a bunch of folks from the reddit community to create a crowdfunding campaign to buy the property and fulfill a long dream of turning it into the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.
Currently, the only large-scale museum about Tesla is in Belgrade, Serbia (video forthcoming), where all of his research and personal affects were taken after his death by his kleptomaniac nephew, who happened to be the Ambassador to the US from (then) Yugoslavia.
Being based in NYC, I’m excited to see the developments of the new museum and hope to be one of its first volunteers.
Geeking out is the new cool.