Volume 81, Number 17 | September 29 - October 5, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

‘Low Line’ park planned under Delancey

By Khiara Ortiz

Plans have come to light for the underground construction of what could be the next High Line in an abandoned Lower East Side trolley station under Delancey St. known as the Williamsburg Trolley Terminal.

For now, its hopeful developers have dubbed the project the “Delancey Underground,” though it’s inevitable that New Yorkers will refer to it as the “Low Line.” James Ramsey, owner and founder of RAAD Studio, has collaborated with friend and co-founder Dan Barasch and R. Boykin Curry IV for the past two and a half years crafting this subterranean oasis to provide some greenery for a neighborhood deprived of flora.

A fiber-optic lighting system paired with solar collectors on the street surface will transmit sunlight and generate energy to power the park, according to Ramsey’s design. Ramsey began his architecture career after graduating from Yale University and worked as a satellite engineer for NASA.

Dominic Pisciotta, chairperson of Community Board 3, gave his approval to the project.

“I think it’s a really great project and could be a great amenity for the community,” he said. “It could definitely attract visitors and could be a boon for local business.”

The lease for the location is currently held by the M.T.A., and though the agency is willing to listen to Ramsey’s pitch, they will not contribute funds. The architect hopes to engage the community in an open discussion for what should be included in the plans and said the commencement of construction is “dependent on many factors.”

“We want the park to be clearly for the Lower East Side,” said Ramsey.

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