To Keep Inventor’s Flame Bright, Fans Return to His Workshop

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Nikola Tesla electrified the world with alternating current, then slipped into obscurity, dying penniless in 1943 on the 33rd floor of the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. But though his fame was eclipsed by other inventors, he was never forgotten: A hardy band of enthusiasts has long sought to give this eccentric genius his due.

Now his devotees are making headway in their efforts to create a lasting memorial to Tesla by buying and restoring Wardenclyffe, the overgrown 16-acre estate on the North Shore of Long Island that features his only surviving workshop.

Three fund-raising efforts are under way. All envision turning the rundown laboratory into a museum or educational center, but each has a distinct way of raising the money — online donations; foreign contributions; and simple philanthropy, in the form of a feature film that would memorialize Tesla, a bold visionary of Serbian birth....

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