The Lower East Side's SPURA megaproject has been stuck in the negotiation stage for 40 years, and potential new neighbor Delancey Underground?a proposed conversion of an unused Delancey Street trolley terminal into an underground park?is determined not to meet the same fate. The minds behind the project went before Community Board 3's Land Use committee last night. We swung by, and it looked like things were going well for Team Low Line, with NYC's skepticism of beautified underground spaces (thanks, subway system!) outweighed by fresh news reports that left Community Board members longing for alternatives to potential big box retail nearby.
Architect James Ramsey of Raad Studio, one of the minds behind the project, schooled CB 3 in how it would work: the space would be lit?addressing one of the two major concerns about the space, darkness and security?through a process that concentrates rays of sun through fiber optical cables and redistributes it to new locations. We're not totally sure what that means, but apparently the technology's been used successfully elsewhere in the world, including in a redevelopment project in Berlin. Team Low Line plans on presenting a mockup of the technology in the city soon, location TBD.
Of course, the project still needs to be paid for, and here's where the High Line comparisons come in handy. The subterranean park would need mostly private funds, so the fundraising process could take years. And there were a few additional concerns raised by CB 3, including the space's year-round potential and the possible inclusion of retail space. So when can we start our Low Line Construction Chronicles tag?
?Photos and reporting by William Weber
· Official site: Delancey Underground [Delanceyunderground.org]
· Low Line coverage [Curbed]