Fans of New York City’s High Line have new reason to be excited. 

By Katie James
January 24, 2017
Kibum Park/Raad Designs

It’s no secret that Manhattan is home to numerous abandoned subway stations and underground vaults, many of which remain in a continuous state of disrepair.

Such is the case for the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, a one-acre space just below Delancey Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, that’s been unused since 1948.

Young entrepreneurs Dan Barasch and James Ramsey, however, have something else in mind for the historic terminal: a solar-powered underground park, called the Lowline.

The duo is in talks with both the City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority about the construction of a next-generation public park that operates on solar technology to create a “remote skylight,” which would support plant growth and provide sunlight to the space below.

“We envision the Lowline as a vibrant underground park, a year-round oasis for residents and visitors,” says Barasch. “Even in the cold of winter, the Lowline would offer a beautiful place to reconnect with the natural environment.”

Barasch and Ramsey recently launched a Kickstarter page to crowd-source funding for a laboratory for solar research.

Could the Lowline be a 21st-century answer to the urban challenge of how we can use technology to improve people's lives?

Says Barasch: “By creating new public space out of our forgotten subterranean history, we hope to do just that.”