The Journey Begins – A group of educators and civic leaders on Long Island, New York, learn that Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory is vacant in their community and in danger of being demolished. They form a non-profit group called Friends of Science East, Inc. (FSE) with a mission to save Wardenclyffe and renovate it into a museum and science center dedicated to Nikola Tesla.
Perseverance & Progress – After continuous efforts to gain public and government support, FSE obtains approval to establish Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, a not-for-profit 501(c) organization.
The World Saves Wardenclyffe – With time running out, TSCW President Jane Alcorn posts an online plea for fundraising help. Internet cartoonist and blogger Matt Inman steps forward to lead a crowdfunding campaign called “Let’s Build a Goddamn Museum.” The fundraiser breaks records to raise $1.3 million from 33,000 donors in 108 countries around the world. Tech innovator Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, donates another $1 million.
First Annual Holiday Tree Lighting – To celebrate the season and their hopes of preserving Wardenclyffe, TSCW hosts its first holiday event featuring a tree lighting ceremony on the base of Tesla’s transmitting tower.
Wardenclyffe Saved! Thanks to support from donors, government officials, civic associations, businesses, organizations, and friends, TSCW was able to purchase Wardenclyffe for the site of a museum and science center dedicated to continuing Tesla’s legacy of innovation.
Restoration Begins – The Board at TSCW rallies a dedicated workforce of volunteers to secure the site and clear decades of neglect. Landscaping, debris and graffiti removal, cleaning, painting, fencing, and other work transforms the grounds at Wardenclyffe.
Tesla Statue Dedication – In a gesture of goodwill that honors Tesla’s Serbian-American heritage, the People’s Republic of Serbia donate a bronze statue of Tesla to TSCW. It’s unveiled by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolíc in a ceremony attended by over 300 supporters from around the world.
Bricks for Nik – Tesla fans from around the world purchase bricks that are inscribed with messages, quotes, tributes, memorials—even puzzles and marriage proposals. These inspirational bricks are used to create a unique memorial plaza around the bronze statue of Tesla. The Bricks for Nik Plaza is now one of the most unique features at Wardenclyffe, where visitors linger to read the thousands of messages.
Planning & Preparation – With the property purchased, cleared, and assessed, TSCW begins the next steps toward restoring and developing Wardenclyffe. Surveys, research required for historic preservation and NHR designation. Permits and architectural, construction, and engineering assessments. Fundraising efforts.
Program Development – Education programs at area schools, Teslamania. Expand and upgrade events like Tesla Birthday Expo and Holiday Lighting. Exhibits at local events, libraries, schools. Research entrepreneur programs, participate in Maker events, connect with incubation and business development organizations.
Nikola Tesla: Past, Present, Future – TSCW hosts its first mobile exhibit at the Ward Melville Heritage Center in Stony Brook. Visitors explore Tesla’s life and inventions in a series of interactive exhibits including live Tesla coil demos, induction motor display with Tesla Motors roadster, neon art, historical timeline, Wardenclyffe replica, video exhibits, guest speakers, and more.
Preliminary Restoration Begins – Demolition of attached structure. Cupola restoration. Window repair and renovation.
A Mission with Momentum – Efforts expand to develop programs and exhibits that educate and empower through science. Exhibits are presented at public events, and science classes such as Magic with Magnets and Fun with Forces are offered at local schools. The Teslamania 2018 physics competition for educators grows and will now be supported at other locations. The Tesla Birthday Expo in New York and Tesla’s Laboratory event in California spread awareness through Tesla-inspired exhibits, film, talks, art, and music.
Groundbreaking Moment – Renovation plans at Wardenclyffe include laboratory construction work and demolition of structures attached to the lab. The lab chimney is slated for restoration. Preliminary construction will begin on the Bauer House, a structure built at Wardenclyffe in the 1920s that will be used as a visitor center with office and education space.