Steve Rowell

A Doubting World?

Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower Site / Agfa Corporation’s Land For Sale

A one page layout I created for the publication The Redactor, created for the group exhibition The Incidental Person, curated by Antony Hudek, Apexart, New York, January-February 2010.


In April of 2009, Agfa Corporation announced the sell of its Shoreham site on Long Island. The overgrown, disused lot is unremarkable except for it historical significance. Between 1903 and 1917 it was the location of Nikola Tesla's nearly forgotten Wardenclyffe Tower, an experimental telecommunications tower that was designed, ostensibly, to broadcast power around the Earth in the form of "cloudborn electric wavelets". Financial backing by J.P. Morgan vanished after Tesla announced that this energy could be captured freely by anyone in the world. Morgan did not intend to give anything away for free. The tower was demolished in 1917 by the site mortgage holder, the proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Agfa's announcement of sale of the property has caused a battle over the site, angering Tesla enthusiasts and historical societies around the globe because of the company’s unwillingness to divide the lot. Agfa has even proposed razing the land – in effect redacting Tesla's history – citing the financial crisis as a reason for this and insisting that the lot must be sold as one single piece of real estate. They are willing to do what ever it takes to sell the property in these tough times. Market pressure and profit motive ended Tesla's dream and may likely be the force that removes this legacy from the land.

"It is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering — only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world." - Nikola Tesla

THE REDACTOR is a stamped limited edition publication that features an exclusive interview with leading UK secrecy activist, campaigner and journalistic source, Mike Kenner (whose archive is featured in Dark Places) as well as incidental editorials, news and features from our correspondents in the field - Rich Pell (Nature Correspondent - Center for Post Natural History, US), Steve Rowell (US, Real Estate) and visual features by John Latham and Jenny Holzer.

More from the Office of Experiments website

The Launch issue is a stamped limited edition of 500 only, with free insert, and is produced by Office of Experiments. Design - with Design by Sara de Bondt. If you would like to obtain an electronic copy (unlimited as a PDF from late Jan 2010) please contact the Office of Experiments.