Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla had a laboratory in Colorado Springs. Photo courtesy Wellcome Library, London.

Editor's note: Several years ago The Gazette's Linda Navarro wrote a long-running series on Colorado Springs historical facts and answered questions from readers about what was going on around town. Today we're restarting that series with a modern twist. 

Nikola Tesla moved to Colorado Springs in 1899 to conduct experiments with electricity, but where was his lab?

Tesla's lab has often been been depicted in the mountains above Colorado Springs in film, but that was for dramatic effect and is a Hollywood-generated myth. For example, in the 2005 Christopher Nolan movie "The Prestige," in which Tesla is played by David Bowie, he has a mountain laboratory overlooking Colorado Springs. 

Tesla, born in modern-day Croatia, was best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

According to the Pikes Peak Library District video "Tracing Tesla: The Search of his Lost Laboratory," the lab was on top of a hill near East Kiowa Street and North Foote Avenue. It was between the Union Printers Home and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Somewhat surprisingly, there is nothing marking the site although there is a plaque nearby in Memorial Park noting its general location. The area is now residential and is a short walk north from the park. 

Have a question about Colorado Springs or its history? Send them to terry.terrones@gazette.com with Column Question in the subject line to avoid spam.

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Terry is a journalist for The Gazette. He's a graduate of the University of Denver, loves the Denver Broncos, and is a member of the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice Association.

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