As contributor David Sokol writes in his recent news piece, crowdfunding is an increasingly powerful way to quickly raise funds for community-based design. Last month, the popular and irreverent Seattle-based cartoonist Matthew Inman (known as The Oatmeal) raised over $1.3 million dollars on the crowdfunding site indiegogo to buy a property in Shoreham, New York that was the site of inventor Nikola Tesla's last laboratory.

blog post photo

According to the Inman's campaign page:

Tesla's final laboratory is located in the sleepy town of Shoreham, New York. It's known as Wardenclyffe and it's where Tesla attempted to build a tower that would provide free wireless energy to the entire earth. Unfortunately, Tesla lost his funding before the project was completed and in 1917 the Wardenclyffe tower was demolished.  Subsequently, the land was sold to a film and paper manufacturer.

However, the land, laboratory, and foundation beneath the tower are still there and very recently went up for sale. And right now a non-profit is trying to buy the property and turn it into a Nikola Tesla Museum. The property is listed at $1.6 million, and this non-profit has received a matching grant from New York State of up to $850k.  This means that if we can raise $850k, New York State will match us for that same amount -- putting the total raised at $1.7 million.

Now that the property can be saved, the fundraising can begin to build the actual museum. Which firm do you think would be a good fit to build a museum for one of the world's most famous scientists? And how high should someone set their goal on Indiegogo to pay for it?