Imagining NYC’s Lowline

I recently wrote about the High Line, an elevated park in Manhattan’s lower West Side built atop historic railroad tracks from the 1930s, but have you heard about the Lowline?

Rendering of the Lowline, photo from thelowline.org

With limited space in New York City to build out, the Lowline is a revolutionary idea to build the world’s first underground park in the abandoned Williamsburg Trolley Terminal.  Located beneath Delancey Street in the lower East Side, the terminal first opened in 1903 and served as a hub for trolleys carrying passengers between Manhattan and Brooklyn until service ended in 1948.

And like the High Line, the concept of the Lowline aims to make something old new again.  The cornerstone of this proposed project is a canopy of remote skylights that will “concentrate natural sunlight at street level, and then channel it underground, generating enough light to support photosynthesis.”

I had the opportunity to check out the Lowline site last month as part of a preview exhibit entitled “Imagining the Lowline”.  Here are some photos from the exhibit, which will give you a glimpse of what this subterranean public park might someday look like.

To learn more about the Lowline, visit thelowline.org.

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