Recap: Looking at the Lowline Park Prototype

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 at 6:48 am by
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Saturday was the inauguration of “Imagining the Lowline,” a public preview of the proposed Lowline park. A steady flow of curious humanity poured into the southernmost Essex Street Market building to sample the drug, so to speak. It’s basically like visiting a museum exhibit, complete with info poster boards and full-scale model.

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“Experiments in Motion” Exhibit, leading into the Lowline. Credit: Lori Greenberg

The organization behind Lowline – Delancey Underground – transformed the oft-vacant warehouse into a replica of the abandoned trolley station by the Williamsburg Bridge. Upon entry, visitors are funneled through a passageway of black curtains to the first part of the exhibit. A suspended model of the Manhattan subway grid courtesy of Columbia University – dubbed “Experiments in Motion” – which projects the flow of city transit onto the cement floor. From there it’s onto the requisite Lower East Side history, featuring some interesting archival photos of the subject space.

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Dan Barasch, co-founder of The Lowline. Photo Credit: Lori Greenberg

The classroom basics are followed by the meat and potatoes of the park proper. A fully realized prototype of what to expect if approved, with roof-bound lighting system (i.e. “Sunbeamer” devices) and plant life installed (place smells like manure).

While an impressive display, it’s only natural to feel cautious (and anxious) at the prospect of the Lowline. Lots of ideas look great on paper but have the tendency to result in catastrophic consequences. Remember the High Line…

“Imagining the Lowline” is on display through September 27.

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