We’re excited to be partnering with 3D visualization company Matterport to bring visitors digitally inside unique New York City locations over the next few months. We’ll also be adding to the company’s current batch of 3D scans in the city, which include places like the Edison Ballroom and Nicola Tesla’s hotel room at The New Yorker Hotel both made by Real Virtual Zone.
From 1933 until his death a decade later, Nikola Tesla lived in rooms 3327 and 3328, on the 33rd floor of The New Yorker Hotel. The room itself has been renovated (you can see photos of it in an earlier state on the Tesla society website). Telsa, a Serbian, immigrated to the United States in 1884 at age 28, having previously lived and work in France for the Continental Edison Company.
As The New Yorker recounts, Tesla died penniless, having failed to capitalize on his revolutionary discoveries. But today, he has his legions of followers who make the trek to rooms 3327 and 3328. Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, Secretary General of the Tesla Memorial Society of New York writes that Tesla relocated to The New Yorker from the Waldorf-Astoria. Though it may seem strange to us today, long-term living in hotels was popular in the 19th century and into the 20th century, and some of today’s iconic apartment buildings began as long-term stay rentals like the Ansonia Hotel.
While living at the Waldorf-Astoria, Tesla was at the height of his fame and fortune, organizing celebrity-ridden dinners attended by the likes of Mark Twain. At The New Yorker, he still managed to throw his birthday party in the Grand Ballroom. Fond of pigeons, Tesla fed them from his window in the hotel and brought back injured ones from his walks to rehabilitate. In 1937, he was hit by a taxicab en route to pigeon feeding and after refusing medical attention, was bedridden at The New Yorker for several months.
In 1943, Tesla died at the age of 87 in room 3327, found by the hotel maid. The belongings inside his room were seized by the FBI under the Alien Property Custody act, despite Telsa’s American citizenship. They were likely interested in his proposals for the “Death Ray”/”Peace Ray,” purportedly an anti-aircraft defense weapon Tesla himself described as a “superweapon to end all war.” While he was still alive, his claimed his room had been searched, but that nothing was found because he never put anything on paper – all the information was in his head. As Atlas Obscura reports, following Tesla’s death and before the FBI impoundment of his belongings at The New Yorker, “his nephew hurried to the New Yorker and upon arrival found that his uncle’s notebooks and several papers had been removed from Suite 3327, along with the inventor’s body.”
In 2001, the Tesla Memorial Society erected a plaque on both the door of room 3327 and the outside of The New Yorker Hotel to mark Tesla’s stay at the historic hotel.
Next, read about 12 crazy facts about the iconic Ansonia Hotel.