By Bria Ellis and Vincent Ball
The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe (TSCW) is scheduled to begin construction on the new museum in March to honor the legacy of inventor Nikola Tesla.
“Work at Wardenclyffe will include not just construction, but demolition, too. This is a multi-phase project, and for some of the restoration and renovation to begin, there will have to be some demolition first,” Jane Alcorn, president of the TSCW said.
Located in Shoreham, TSCW is situated on the site of Tesla’s former laboratory, where his Wardenclyffe tower was built.
“Wardenclyffe is the last standing laboratory of Nikola Tesla anywhere on earth, so it is the most appropriate site for an American Tesla museum,” Joseph Sikorski, director of Tower to the People a documentary about Nikola Tesla, said.
In 2012, contributions began pouring into the crowdfunding campaign, “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum,” and within a week the project raised over $1.3 million. Following a $1 million donation from Elon Musk, it became clear that this project had caught the attention of Tesla enthusiasts throughout the world.
“As long [as] I am living I will support the board of TSCW financially and with ideas,” Joerg Wilhelm Schmidt of Germany said, after finding the crowdfunding page for the TSCW in 2013.
Without contributors like Schmidt, Alcorn realized how difficult funding would be. “We have had the good fortune to attract many volunteers, some financial donors, and some good publicity, and we will need much more of that,” Alcorn said.
Organizers of the museum plan to include a wide array of Tesla’s work. Everything, Alcorn explains, from “astrophysics to energy production to communications to geology.”
The museum will feature exhibits and displays about Tesla and his work at Wardenclyffe. “Since Tesla had his hand in many areas of science, from astrophysics to energy production to communications to geology plus more, almost any area of science can and will be presented at various times through programs, presentations, or exhibits and displays,” Alcorn said.
“33,000 people from 108 countries made donations. I refer to them as Tesla Village,” Neil Baggett secretary of TSCW said. The campaign is currently closed but people can still support the movement by purchasing memorabilia such a shirts or mugs on the TSCW’s teespring website.
The museum will also be the first of its kind in the Long Island area. “As a region we have a right to a more substantial science center here like the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey or the Queens Science Center in Queens where the Long Island community can see some of the best science exhibits that are traveling the word and get more engaged in innovation in science,” Marc Alessi, former state assemblyman and executive director of the project said.
The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is expected to open by the end of 2017 or early 2018.