Move statue of Tesla from park into the city
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $40 million commitment to implement the Niagara Falls State Park Landscape Improvements Plan already has had a transformative impact on the nation’s oldest state park. Central to the initiative is a proposal to move the statue of Nikola Tesla, inventor of the electric motor who also designed and oversaw the construction of the world’s first hydroelectric generating plant, from its present location to nearer the brink of the falls.
A more appropriate disposition of the distinctive statue, which was a gift to the United States from Tesla’s homeland Yugoslavia on the occasion of our 1976 bicentennial, would be for the government of New York State to transfer it to the City of Niagara Falls, where Tesla’s historic facility actually stood.
In addition to being an act of propriety and goodwill, it would bring the world-famous natural wonder of the falls more in line with what Tesla’s contemporary, the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, desired in his plan for Niagara Falls State Park: “Suppose that a costly object of art like that of the Statue of Liberty should be tendered to the state on condition that it should be set up on Goat Island, (we must refuse it) as surely as we would an offer to stock the island with poison ivy or with wolves and bear.”
Joan Elizabeth Johnson