A high-tech underground park in New York City?

An ambitious plan would turn an abandoned trolley terminal into a sunlit subterranean park

RAAD Studio designed this plan to turn an abandoned underground trolley terminal in New York City into a subterranean park.
(Image credit: RAAD Studio)

The image: Rome has its mysterious catacombs, Paris has its vast sewers, and New York City has, well, nothing of the sort — yet. But that could change if a committed group of urban visionaries gets the green light to develop a cavernous underground space that's been abandoned for decades. The group has developed plans to turn a 60,000-square-foot abandoned trolley terminal beneath New York's Lower East Side into an enormous, sunlit, subterranean garden. (See an image at right and below.) The project is known as Delancey Underground, though many locals have started referring to it as "the Low Line," in reference to Manhattan's High Line, a wildly popular urban park that was recently constructed on an abandoned elevated railway. The initial concept was presented this week to an enthusiastic group of citizens and neighborhood planning committee members. Even if it's approved, it will be years before the park opens.

The reaction: "Wow!" says David McWater, chair of a city committee reviewing the plans, as quoted by DNAinfo. Indeed, it's pretty cool how the gloomy space would be flooded with natural light, courtesy of solar panels, says Drew Grant at the New York Observer. Imagine, plants could flourish underground. However, "where the displaced Molepeople will be forced to migrate if the Delancey Underground project gets funded has not yet been addressed." Check it out:

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