The ‘Lowline Lab’ Shows Off Solar Technology for Future Underground Park Below Delancey Street [RECAP]

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 at 9:29 am by
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The Lowline pulled out all the stops in creating its so-called “Lowline Lab” on Essex Street this weekend. Perenially in fundraising mode, the ambitious subterranean park project successfully collected more than $220K to create this intriguing prototype for public consumption. No longer an idea on the proverbial page, the exhibit – located in the vacant Essex Street Market warehouse on SPURA site 8 – is essentially a coming attraction for an undertaking that might not even happen.

This past Saturday was the opener, packed with hordes of tourists and mainstream media to match.

For the next four months, the 75-year-old brick building will masquerade as the former trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street. On its roof is a complex arrangement of mirrors and tubing – what they call a “remote skylight” – that harvests daylight into the darkness within to feed the plant life.

While anticlimactic, the Lowline Lab nevertheless provides a real-life snapshot of what to expect if and when it comes to fruition.

Of course, there’s a subset of the community that doesn’t want the Lowline to see the light of day. Yes, the technology is impressive; cutting edge, certainly. Just in the wrong spot. Some locals fear that, hand-in-hand with Essex Crossing, the underground park will breed further gentrification and fuel displacement of independent business and low-income families (i.e. the High Line).

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