A Short History of Friends of Science East, Inc.
Friends of Science East, Inc. was born on February 14, 1996. At that time, the official New York State approvals were filed making Friends of Science East, Inc. a not-for-profit corporation in the state. Federal tax exempt status was also obtained as of this date. The genesis of this event occurred approximately one year earlier.
The Science Museum housed in the Shoreham-Wading River High School was experiencing growth painsnot enough space to incorporate all of the activities, programs and exhibits that were becoming increasingly popular. The museum had been through a review that indicated it was in the museum's and its visitors' interests to expand in a moderate fashion.
The school district did not have any additional space to lend, and members of the museum board began to ask if finding a larger space off the school campus might be a good idea.
For several years, Science Museum board members had been interested in the land known as the "Peerless Property," after its former owners, Peerless Photo Products, which had been bought by Agfa, a division of the Bayer Corporation. The property had been owned at the turn of the century by inventor and scientist Nikola Tesla.
Tesla had built a laboratory there in 1901 called Wardenclyffe, designed by the renowned architect, Stanford White. He also had White design a huge tower to be used for the transmission of signals world wide. The tower was demolished in 1917, but the original laboratory building still stands, along with several other structures which were added by subsequent owners. This seemed an interesting, if not ideal, site for a future science museum.
The Science Museum board decided to create an offshoot organization to pursue the acquisition of the Tesla property, and the Friends of Science East, Inc. came into being.
Since that beginning, FSE, Inc. has had several meetings with representatives from Agfa, Brookhaven Town, Suffolk County, New York State, Shoreham Village and various fraternal, civic and business organizations locally; has begun legal affiliation with the Tesla Wardenclyffe Project, Inc., a group dedicated to the preservation of Wardenclyffe, and has set in motion the actions which it is hoped will result in the Tesla property becoming the future home of the Tesla Museum and Science Center at Wardenclyffe.