Kibum Park/Raad Designs

This garden paradise is set to be under New Yorkers' feet in the next five years.

October 07, 2016

Touted as the world's first underground park, the Lowline is set to be complete in an abandoned trolley station in the Lower East Side by 2021.

Since the city approved their plans in July, the park’s founders have steadily moved forward with the park, releasing the full text of their $83-million proposal to the public in September. The park will cover 60,000 (underground) square-feet in lower Manhattan, adjacent to the Delancey-Essex street subway station.

The founders plan to raise $35 million from private donors, and the rest of the money is set to come from public funds and tax breaks, Curbed reported.

Kibum Park/Raad Designs

The location is a former trolley station, first opened in 1908, that has been out of use since 1948. The mission of the project is to create a community hub that will provide green space to residents while also stimulating local restaurants and businesses by attracting visitors.

“The Lowline aims to build a new kind of public space—one that highlights the historic elements of a former trolley terminal while introducing cutting-edge solar technology and design, enabling plants and trees to grow underground,” according to the project website.

One of the first criticisms of the park came from architects and city planners who questioned how the designers of the park would be able to deliver enough sunlight to the underground park to sustain life. The plan is to have the Lowline take advantage of new solar technology from Raad Studio that will use street receptors to capture sunlight before dispersing it in the underground gardens, according to the founders.

There's a testing ground for the technology, called the Lowline Lab, which is open to the public every weekend 11 a.m. to 5 p.m through March 2017.

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