Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 11, 2014

Long Island Tesla museum gets a boost

Niagara Gazette — A science museum being developed on Long Island to honor the contributions of Nikola Tesla received a big financial boost this week. 

While many have pushed for the development of a similar facility in Niagara Falls, the project in question is located at Wardenclyffe in Long Island where the Serbian-American inventor once had a laboratory. 

According to multiple media reports, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, the owner of the electric car company Tesla Motors and the rocket company SpaceX, has pledged $1 million in funding for the Long Island project. 

The announcement came Thursday at a birthday celebration on the historic Tesla lab site. 

The so-called Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is planned for the site where Tesla once built a transmitter tower as part of an experiment to send messages and distribute wireless activity. The proposal calls for displays about his inventions and their impact on the world today. 

The donation from Musk followed a 45-day campaign to raise at least $850,000 to save the Wardenclyffe property from being sold to private developers. The campaign received a boost from Web comic creator Matthew Inman who, in 2012, created an online comic strip referring to Tesla as the "greatest geek who ever lived." The campaign raised more than $1 million in a little more than a week, according to published reports. 

Multiple media outlets reported this week that Inman and Gene Genova, vice president of the Tesla Museum project in Long Island, held a conference call with Musk who pledged to contribute financially to the effort and build a new supercharging station for his electric car company at the site.

Musk recently gained a higher profile in Western New York when he was tied to SolarCity's purchase of Silevo, a company that announced last fall plans to bring 475 jobs to Buffalo as part of a solar panel manufacturing project. 

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