I believe he did make it and experimented in his own building. It would be possible to shake a building at it's resonance to destroy it.
I'm sure we've all had windows and objects vibrate when a helicopter goes overhead.
Regarding using resonance to shake the earth and transfer that energy over a distance, I believe this has been done in ancient Egypt. You see the tall obelisks are made of one piece of granite, and are different sizes -they all resonate at a set frequency so the smaller ones will resonate at a higher frequency. They tend to oscillate end to end, and being mounted vertically they would send and receive vibrations into the ground over some distance. Therefore it would be possible to use them as a method of sending information or a warning over a distance faster than sending runners or riding a horse at speed. It would be almost instant, and a kind of wireless communication between sites would be possible.
I believe the obelisks wore 'hats' of a gold alloy called Electrum, that may have been part of the system. Being valuable they were the first to get stolen, and probably why the Great Pyramid is also missing one.