Ever since it opened in 2009, the High Line has drawn out-of-town visitors who hope to replicate its success. Observers of the elevated park on the West Side of Manhattan have come from nearby municipalities like Jersey City and Philadelphia and places as far away as Hong Kong.
Lately, those observers have been coming from across town, with plans for another attention-grabbing green space on a former transit site. But this one comes with a twist — the proposed park would be underground, in a dank former trolley terminal under Delancey Street that is controlled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Though its promoters call it the “Delancey Underground,” another nickname has already been coined: the Low Line.
Ramsey and Barasch’s romantic vision includes a polished, undulating ceiling plane from which the “remote skylights” — developed by Ramsay to filter out harmful ultraviolet and infrared light frequencies — will flood the park with sunrays all year-round, night and day.
According to Ramsey, the technology is “like a cross between a telescope and an endoscope” — capturing light from the sun and then transporting it through fiber-optic cables onto a relatively small focal point.