11/30/2011

The New York "Low Line" Majestic Underworld


Satellite engineers turned architects, James Ramsey and Dan Barasch have developed a groundbreaking solution to an otherwise forgotten, useless, uninhabitable subterranean trolley terminal lying dormant underneath New York City streets.  Driven by the success of New York's High Line, Ramsey and Barasch have us looking down at a future "Low Line."  


Their vision is to transform the abandoned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal into a subterranean park filled with sunlight and lush vegetation, using a skylight they developed which uses fiber-optic technology that will naturally light and bring life to the tunnel. Gaining much international attention and support, the project is sure to transform the once again and to an even greater level the way we view these abandoned spaces beneath our cities.




Controlled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, this 1.5 acre SPURA (Seward Park Urban Renewal Area) plot has been vacant since 1948.  The site runs roughly 3 blocks under Delancy Street between Essex Street and the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge.  Delancy Underground, also referred to as "the Low Line", will be New York City's first underground park.  The project aims to become a safe and beautiful gathering space for local residents and an attraction for the Lower East Side.



To ensure the success of the project, Ramsey and Barasch plan to conduct a formal feasibility study that will assess cost, impact and strategy.  They hope to acquire enough funding for construction and maintenance costs through donations, grant money, public money and revenue.  Increased political and community support will help the project significantly.  The initial fundraising target is $450,000.