Save Wardencliffe


Thanks for the postings re: Tesla coil design.  I must confess that, as of
late, my work at the coil winder has been cut back.

These days my focus is mostly on distributing books and also helping out as I
am able with the "Save Wardencliffe" project.  The appended file will explain
this in a little more detail.  I would appreciate your assistance in
promulgating this information to anyone who might be of assistance, i.e.,
anyone who will write a few choice words.  Peter Shaver, NY State Historic
Preservation Program Analyst, can use all of the help that can be mustered to
plead this case.


   Located near the small Long Island town of Shoreham and named
after James S. Warden of the Suffolk County Land Company, it was to
intended as the location of Dr. Nikola Tesla's prototype station
for the World Broadcasting System.  Famed architect Stanford White
undertook the majestic building's design with associate W. D. Crow
who planned the 187 foot dome capped tower.  Its construction was
made possible with the backing of financier J. P. Morgan, but the
project was never brought to total completion due to lack of
sufficient funding.  In 1901 what was later to become a monument to
the history of wireless communications was dubbed Wardencliffe.
   By the Summer of 1902 Tesla had shifted his laboratory
operations to the rural Long Island setting and work began in
ernest on the development of the facility.  Within a year the
mushroom shaped tower had begun to take form, however by 1906
funding difficulties had taken their toll eventually resulting in
the plant's abandonment.  In 1917 the property was foreclosed upon
and the magnificent tower destroyed.  Sometime about 1930 the
building appears to have seen use by RCA as a warehouse.  In the
1950s the Peerless Photo Products Division of Miles, Inc. purchased
the site and some years later an historical marker was erected in
recognition of the plant's origins.  Eventually it was converted
into a storage facility for AGFA, also a Division of Miles, Inc. 
Presently, the public is not allowed anywhere near the building
because of heavy metal soil contamination from photographic waste
materials.  Recently, there has even been talk that the building
would be demolished as part of a cleanup effort.  While the thought
of loosing the building is most disconcerting, there is solace to
be found in the fact that with proper decontamination efforts the
building can be saved.  Recently, faceing a public process
environmental cleanup feasibility study, AGFA has expressed an
interest in seeing the site conserved for future use more in
harmony with its historical nature.  It is worthwhile to note their
cooperative position regarding the environmental cleanup which is
promised to be of the highest standards.
   While expectations for Wardencliffe's brick powerhouse/office
building, and the tower foundation are still in doubt, progress is
being made toward obtaining designation as a National Historic
Site.  A pivotal step, the application to the New York State Office
of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is taking place
right now.  The evaluation and review process is scheduled to begin
EFFORT, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!  Word has come from Ellen Sherman, who
is filing the application, that A LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN IS NEEDED
RIGHT NOW!  Your letters stating that you are in favor of National
Historic designation and preservation of the Wardencliffe site
should be addressed to:

   Peter D. Shaver
   New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
   Peebles Island, P.O. Box 189
   Waterford, NY 12188-0189

If you would like to help save the Wardencliffe power-plant/office
building you might also want to contact the following and make your
voice heard:
   National Park Service, Cultural Resources, U.S. Department of
the Interior, P.O. Box 37127, 1849 C St. N.W., Washington, DC
20013.  Jerry L. Rogers, assoc. dir., (202) 208-7625, (202)
208-7520 (Fax).  The National Park Service oversees the
preservation of federal historic sites and administration of
buildings programs.  Their programs include the placement of
properties on the National Register of Historic Places plus grant
and aid assistance.  Historic designation of the site and building
by New York State is an important first step toward any national
preservation effort.
   Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 1100 Pennsylvania
Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20004, Robert D. Bush, exec. dir., (202)
786-0503, 786-1172 (Fax).  This agency advises the president and
Congress on historic preservation.  It reviews and comments on
federal projects and programs affecting historic, architecture,
archeological, and cultural resources;
   Al Gore, The Vice President of the United States, Old Executive
Office Building, 17th St. & Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC
20500, (202) 456-1414, Beth N. Prichard (Exec. Asst.), (202)
456-2326.  The VP is aware of Dr. Tesla's achievements in both the
areas of electrical and mechanical engineering.  Regarding this
specific issue he wrote in November 1994, "I genuinely hope that
this matter is brought to a satisfactory conclusion."

Gary L. Peterson
P.O. Box 2001
Breckenridge, CO 80424-2001
(303) 453-9293