Lowline Files Permits to Transform Vacant Essex Market Building Into ‘Lowline Lab’

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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Already three years deep, the Lowline – that subterranean park seemingly polarizing the Lower East Side – continues its quest to take over the old trolley terminal beneath Delancey. Or, rather approval. Earlier this summer, a Kickstarter campaign was organized to collect funds for the ongoing “Lowline Lab” that will help the team test various aspects of its so-called park. The online collection yielded massive results, netting the project $223,506. Guess that payload is already being put to use…

The Lowline Lab will be located in the vacant Essex Market building between Rivington and Stanton Streets (aka 140 Essex). It is here that the team plans to “test how effectively we can re-direct sunlight remotely, by installing three solar collection systems on the roof.” To that end, permits were filed last week with the Department of Buildings to begin the installation process. In official terms – “structural modifications and supports associated with rooftop natural sunlight collection system.”

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Below is more detailed information about the Lowline Lab.

We will test our research on the species of plants our team has determined will thrive best in the lighting conditions of the Lowline. Because we are testing in the fall and winter — the two toughest times to grow plants — we will gain valuable insight into which species will perform best throughout the year…

We’ll measure human happiness factors associated with our park, across different seasons. The Lab will be open in New York City from September- February, allowing us to see how the space is perceived and used in both the fall, when the weather outside can be variable, and the winter, when the weather outside is generally cold and often nasty. We plan to keep the space open and free to all on weekends, and we intend to survey happiness levels in both quantitative and qualitative ways, before and after visiting a safe, magical, beautiful indoor park.

This forthcoming lab workspace is the second such undertaking by the Lowline crew to spread awareness about the project. You’ll recall that the southerly Essex Market buildings – now a pile of dust – were dressed up exactly three years ago for a public introduction.

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The Lowline prototype on Essex St., September 2012

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