We’ve written about the LowLine–the subterranean park that would convert an abandoned 60,000 square foot trolley station beneath Delancey Street into an underground oasis–on two separate occasions, back when the project was first announced (and when it acquired its memorable name) and again last November when a New York Times piece catapulted the futuristic proposal and renderings into the national press. Since then the project, designed by architect James Ramsey and PopTech exec Dan Barasch, has steadily made headway, gaining the support of both the Lower East Side community and the city. The LowLine has just launched a Kickstarter drive to fund the fabrication and installation of the park’s “remote skylights,” the duo’s invention without which the idea of an underground park with light and flora would be untenable. The skylights are designed to collect and filter sunlight at street level and funnel it to underground receivers via fiber optic cables that distribute the light wavelengths supporting photosynthesis to the park’s trees, plants, and grass. Ramsey and Barasch need $100,000 to construct the mock-ups which they will use to demonstrate to the MTA, the public, and supporters just how they will work.
The final proposal isn’t due to the MTA for another year. In that time, Ramsey and Barasch will be presenting their developments to local committees, organizations, and institutions as a type of community outreach and information exchange which proved integral to the realization and success of the High Line. The two have also opened up the project to Columbia GSAPP students in a studio taught by Architizer CEO Marc Kushner and architect Jürgen Mayer H. Visit the LowLine Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and how to contribute.