Archive for August, 2013

Geeky weekend

August 6, 2013 Comments off

Last weekend I made the trip along with my teenage son to western Long Island, to join a volunteer work crew cleaning up the site of Nikola Tesla’s laboratory, Wardenclyffe, with the intention of restoring it and creating a Tesla science museum. I couldn’t resist the opportunity for urban exploring and the chance to rub elbows with history.

To round out our geeky weekend, the next day we visited the nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory and got an up-close tour of RHIC – the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

Read on for photos and details of our trip.

The work crew started at 9am Saturday, so we left Delaware just before 5:00 am, traversing Manahattan around 8:00. It felt weird to be driving through Manhattan instead of to Manhattan. Then across the 59th Street Bridge, and onto the Long Island Expressway. During rush hour the L.I.E. deserves its nickname “The World’s Longest Parking Lot.” But early Saturday morning, as it opened up into the suburbs of Long Island, it is truly one of America’s great freeways. We got to Shoreham and found Wardenclyffe a few minutes after 9:00.

I had done some reading on the current state of the Wardenclyffe site, and my expectations were properly set. First of all, the iconic tower was demolished years ago. And you can’t go into the building for safety reasons, and that’s before taking the asbestos into account. I am told the building is sound, but it is clearly an abandoned industrial site.

Wardenclyffe south facade

This is the south facade of the building, which I think is the back. Believe it or not I never made it around to the other side. We were a few minutes late and just started working, so it slipped my mind.

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