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Members of Buffalo Community Rally for Nikola Tesla Statue Downtown

It could be the perfect time to erect a statue of Nikola Tesla in Downtown Buffalo. Not only does Buffalo now have a Tesla Heritage Corridor (Niagara Street, from Vulcan Street to Busti Avenue), a festival dedicated to the inventor, and a visionary Tesla City on the horizon, Mayor Brown recently stated the following in his State of the City Address:

Tesla’s Factory at Riverbend has begun manufacturing solar roof panels and its partner, Panasonic, began building solar cells and modules. The two companies now employ over 500 local workers and expect to spend an additional $5 billion over the next decade.

The name “Tesla” is in the air these days. There’s a lot of hype surrounding the inventor because of his influential work in Buffalo, which is why Niagara Street was pinned as a heritage corridor dedicated to the inventor who once said, “Niagara Power will make Buffalo the greatest city in the world.”

According to Tesla fanatic Bill 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.” (Read more)

Color photo of Tesla is from around the time he spoke at the Ellicott Club in the Ellicott Square building, on January 12, 1897 at the famous “Power Banquet” celebration.

Another exciting Tesla-related development in Buffalo is the proposal to build a statue of Tesla that would be erected in Downtown Buffalo (lead image: 12″ model of 3-D statue). One of the drivers of this initiative is Marty McGee, organizer of the Buffalo Niagara Tesla Festival.

McGee noted in a previous BRO article that “Buffalo is lagging well behind Hamilton Ont. who is touting their city as the First Canadian City to receive AC power from the Falls. Hamilton has named a major highway after Tesla and is planning their own statue as well as naming a school after Tesla. We would like to see a pocket park named Nikola Tesla Memorial Park or something to that effect. The pocket park at Main and N. Division adjacent to the M&T headquarters plaza does not have a formal name, and would be a perfect location. This would give it a GPS coordinate. Other places have Tesla statues, but having a park of its own is unique as far as we know. Our dream would be to unveil the downtown statue with great fanfare on his 162nd birthday July 10th, 2018. Tesla would appreciate the timing as he always liked things that were divisible by 3. 162 divided by 3 = 54.”

“We have the approval from the Buffalo Arts Commission for the Main and N. Division location,” said McGee. “M&T bank, Buffalo Place, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Science Museum and Visit Buffalo Niagara have also sent endorsement letters. We’re still hoping to have unveiling ceremony on July 10, 2018, Tesla’s birthday.

Front and side bronze plaques

Now, the time has come to launch fundraising efforts, to construct the statue. McGee is currently looking for funders/sponsors for the effort. Interested parties can reach out via email: Or visit the for additional information. 

To learn more about the Tesla statue initiative, be sure to take a look at the following video that has been produced, which demonstrates all of the reasons that the public work of art is so meaningful and pertinent to this city’s cultural and historic landscape, and ongoing renaissance.

The people that have helped with the 3-D statue are:

Geno Soroka of  HackPGH, Pittsburgh

Randy Zimmer of RooDucts, Buffalo

Dan Hutchinson of Post Process, Buffalo

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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