A small dimly lit garden in central Buffalo, in the Main and North Department, is now officially known as the Nikola Tesla Garden. It was Marty McGee, a local Tesla fan who had to be trusted to make this happen. And that’s what the process was like – a real job that had been going on for years.
In a phone conversation with McGee this morning, he told me that there was an incident that initially made him think of homage back in 2012. “I was in Palm Springs and this couple from Denver Buffalo were thrown to the ground when I said then where I was from, ”McGee told me.“ I couldn’t believe it. They were so rude – it was insulting. It made me think about the reasons people visit – the weirdest things about Buffalo. At the time, I thought to myself, ‘Tesla is cold!’ But where in Buffalo is the tribute to the inventor effective? ”
The idea for the Tesla statue was officially unveiled at the 2017 Tesla Festival in the Old First Department. McGee originally collaborated with festival co-founder Dana Sailor. But back in 2016, McGee knew he wanted to be the inventor who made his mark in Buffalo in 1895, when he “put the juice to work” to fill the street cars in the middle of the night on November 16th.
McGee’s epiphany for having a Tesla statue in downtown Buffalo has also sparked speculation that a statue already existed in Niagara Falls, and the two statues will help rebuild cities that both benefit from their AC power. . But where did the statue go? And who pays for it?
“Nikola Tesla was present at an electric banquet in 1896 as a keynote speaker at the Elliott Square building during the feast of his career, when he was 40 years old,” McGee said. “It was after he gave up the changing power of the world. He was praised by everyone – he spoke 7 languages … he was a hot star. In the conversation, he introduced the concept of wireless technology – which was very important. So we chose the location of the garden – across the street from where he was speaking that day. ”
Determining the exact location was easy, although the purchase was not so easy. “No one knew who it belonged to,” McGee explained [laughing]. “After I worked with the Buffalo Arts Commission to get the statue approved, we went to the DOT to see who the property was. It turns out that 60 years ago there were plans to cross the city on high-quality roads. failed … I believe this plot of land will be a coffin for the project. Eventually, we learned that the city has a green space and the state has beaches and sidewalks. We had to get official documents to be able to build a public park. Now it It’s official – it’s called Nikola Tesla Park. It’s the first in the United States – the resolution was introduced by Pridgen and Golombek and passed through the city hall. “
In addition to resolving the issue at the residence and investigating property issues, there were financial issues. McGee started the road show and talked to everyone he could about the statue. “I was in contact with a Serbian church in Lakavanna,” he said. “Tesla was Serbian, so I started there. I talked to Father Golic. It turned out that he had an academic who came from Serbia and talked about Tesla’s morale. Once I found out, I contacted the Buffalo Historical Museum to see if he could also speak there – it was 2018. They said, “Yes.” During the conversation, I met Francis Lestingi, a retired science professor in Buffalo who happened to be driving a Tesla. She also became a Tesla fan … and my new partner in my company. This guy knows everything he knows about Tesla. He even ended up funding the statue personally. ”
Eventually, with the help of the Arts Services Initiative of WNY, the project was granted nonprofit status. Buffalo Niagara Board Nikola Tesla.
Then, with the help of Lessing, the supporters came out of the woods. What started with digging against his hometown resulted in a wonderful commitment to not only create a fantastic and timely statue, but it also created a micro-park in the city center, where Tesla greeted the crowd with a futuristic speech. gave itself electricity 100 years ago.
Ultimately, McGee attributes the successful commitment to ‘the importance of Nikola Tesla’s awareness’ and to Buffalo’s greater interest.
Golden Signs, Inc Williamsville, NY
TRautman Associates, Inc Buffalo, BY
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Concept Construction Corporation Elm, NY
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Dragan and Milena Drka (J&R Electric Co. Holland, NY)
Serbian Church of Stephanie Lacavanna, New York