Renowned electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla had an apartment in the Radio Wave Building in New York City in the late 19th century, when it was known as the Gerlach Hotel.
He emigrated to the United States in 1884, establishing laboratories in Manhattan where he experimented with electrical energy and patented many discoveries. He stayed at the Gerlach for six years from 1892, reportedly transmitting radio signals from his laboratory on Fifth Avenue South to receivers at the hotel. The Queen Anne building, located between Broadway and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood, features a plaque dedicated in Tesla’s honor in 1977 for his work with radio waves.
Tesla resided in many Manhattan hotels during his lifetime, including the Gerlach, Waldorf Astoria, St Regis, and the New Yorker, where he died in 1943. He is recognized as a pioneer in the field of electrical alternating currents and for contributing to many present-day technologies, from radio communications to electric mains power transmission.