Photos: An inside look at Tesla’s last remaining lab

05/15/2013 8:00 AM |
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO

The new owners of famous inventor Nikola Tesla’s Long Island laboratory opened its gates Monday afternoon to share the history of the site and let outsiders on the property for the first time in years.

The Wardenclyffe property off Route 25A in Shoreham was sold last Thursday for $850,000 to the nonprofit Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, who hope to turn the property into a museum and science center to honor Mr. Tesla’s legacy.

The purchase was paid for by a state reimbursement grant and almost $1.4 million in online contributions from more than 33,000 contributors from 108 countries.

Mr. Tesla, a rival of Thomas Edison and a pioneer in the use of alternating current, conducted experiments at the Wardenclyffe laboratory, built in 1901, in hopes of providing free, wireless electricity to the world.

The tower designed to provide the electrical energy was torn down in 1917 and, after Mr. Tesla’s death, the property was later leased to a photography company, which dumped waste on the land.

Today the property shows the age and neglect. Graffiti marks up the walls and there are signs of squatters who lived in the vacant buildings.

Nonprofit officials said they have obtained permission to see the original blueprints for Mr. Tesla’s lab, and plan to use the designs to restore the property. The project is expected to cost $10 million in total.

psquire@timesreview.com