Buffalo’s Common Council has adopted a resolution that calls for fourteen blocks of Niagara Street to be dedicated as the Nikola Tesla Heritage Trail. Tesla advocate Bill Zimmermann recently gave a talk at the Black Rock Riverside Center, where he pointed out the significance of this achievement and discussed future plans to promote the history trail. Zimmermann is also one of the entrepreneurs that is promoting the idea of Tesla City in Buffalo.
According to Zimmermann, Niagara Street is considered the place where the War of Currents took place. The Tesla Terminal A building, which Zimmermann now owns (future home to Tesla City) was where Tesla proved that AC power could be transported safely via the alternating current motor. He proved it by running a 30 mile route, which at its mid-point (the warehouse) is where the electricity was converted safely, before being passed along to the Pan American Expo. The accomplishment was considered a blow to Edison’s DC power, thus securing AC’s bright, clean future with Westinghouse.
It’s also an appropriate time for this declaration, because Elon Musk is set to deliver the first “affordable” Tesla (Model 3) to those who preordered the car in the Buffalo market. Enthusiasts who put money down to reserve their cars were recently alerted that they now need to install the electric charging stations at their homes, as the cars are due to arrive in coming weeks.
There could be no better time to celebrate Tesla (the inventor), as the genius, often considered a madman, continues to inspire countless inventors and entrepreneurs to this day. Now that Musk is tied into Buffalo through Solar City, there’s a renewed energy when it comes to demonstrating the power of electricity. We always had Niagara Falls, which made this region uniquely powerful. But Tesla set out to prove that there were no limits when it came to alternating current (AC) electricity. His visions and his experiments were so forward thinking that they often times drew skepticism. Only today do we understand what a genius he truly was.
The Common Council’s resolution is as follows:
Whereas: Nicola Tesla was an inventor, electric engineer and physicist who is best known for his contributions to the design of modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system;
Whereas: using Tesla’s alternating current and harnessing the hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls in 1901, electrical power was successfully transmitted from Adam’s Station in Niagara Falls to Terminal A (2280 Niagara Street) in Buffalo;
Whereas: the electrical energy sent from Niagara Falls to Terminal A was used to supply power for the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, demonstrating Tesla’s AC electricity supply system as superior to Thomas Edison’s DC (Direct Current) system;
Whereas: this was the historic moment that many historians consider the definitive moment that Nicola Tesla’s AC won the battle for the war of the currents against Thomas Edison’s competing DC current, demonstrating that AC was a stable and more practical way to harness use electrical power;
Whereas: Tesla’s successful transmission of power laid the groundwork for today’s power grid that power’s the northeastern United States and created the model used for power around the world;
Whereas: still standing today at 2280 Niagara Street, the unassuming brick structure of Terminal A is a historic landmark that represents a major event in American History and is a representation of the genius and innovation of Nicola Tesla;
Whereas: the path from Adam’s Station to Terminal A and on to the Pan American Exposition encompasses Niagara Street, from Vulcan Street to Busti Avenue; and
Whereas: in recognition of this great moment in history, Niagara Street, between Busti Avenue and Vulcan Street, should be designated The Tesla Heritage Corridor: Now, Therefore Be It Resolved that The City of Buffalo Common Council –
- Designates Niagara Street, between Busti Avenue and Vulcan Street, as The Tesla Heritage Corridor in honor of Nicola Tesla and the historic moment when AC power was successfully sent from Adam’s Station in Niagara Falls to Terminal A in Buffalo; and
- Requests that copies of this resolution be sent to the Department of Public Works, Corporation Counsel, and the Buffalo History Museum.