The Low Line: An Underground Park Under Delancey Street Envisioned

by Barbara Russ · February 1, 2012

An ambitious project is starting to take shape on the Lower East Side. Although, only in theory, so far. Dan Barasch and James Ramsey are planning to give the nature-deprived neighborhood a new park. But not just any park: an underground park, which will inevitably become known as the "Low Line".

Sustainable urban development is having a moment. With the High Line, Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) and a possible plus-shaped pool (+Pool) in the East River, the city has proven its creative potential and endless possibilities.

Now, with the Delancey Underground, the idea is to transform an 1.5 acres wide abandoned trolley terminal, unused since 1948, under Delancey Street at the foot of Williamsburg Bridge, into an underground park. The neighborhood, surely, would profit from the development: the Lower East Side's greenery is far below the average of high density cities and of that of New York.

[Photo via]

If you're wondering how the park is supposed to grow underground, the answer is straight out of your elementary school Science text book.  Sunlight will be collected above ground in a new technology by James Ramsey of Raad Studio.  So-called "Sky Collectors" gather sun rays, filter them and send non-harmful rays down through fiber cables, making photosynthesis possible underground, thus allowing plants and trees to grow.

As a place for gathering, relaxing, art, culture and retail, the Low Line would be a great opportunity for the neighborhood and the city. The project is now in phase 1, and fundraising will soon begin. The initial target is $450,000. We're hoping to see the realization of this ingenious idea. Donate HERE.

[Photo via]