The ‘Lowline Lab’ Shows Off Solar Technology for Future Underground Park Below Delancey Street [RECAP]

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 at 9:29 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

The Lowline pulled out all the stops in creating its so-called “Lowline Lab” on Essex Street this weekend. Perenially in fundraising mode, the ambitious subterranean park project successfully collected more than $220K to create this intriguing prototype for public consumption. No longer an idea on the proverbial page, the exhibit – located in the vacant Essex Street Market warehouse on SPURA site 8 – is essentially a coming attraction for an undertaking that might not even happen.

This past Saturday was the opener, packed with hordes of tourists and mainstream media to match.

For the next four months, the 75-year-old brick building will masquerade as the former trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street. On its roof is a complex arrangement of mirrors and tubing – what they call a “remote skylight” – that harvests daylight into the darkness within to feed the plant life.

While anticlimactic, the Lowline Lab nevertheless provides a real-life snapshot of what to expect if and when it comes to fruition.

Of course, there’s a subset of the community that doesn’t want the Lowline to see the light of day. Yes, the technology is impressive; cutting edge, certainly. Just in the wrong spot. Some locals fear that, hand-in-hand with Essex Crossing, the underground park will breed further gentrification and fuel displacement of independent business and low-income families (i.e. the High Line).

This gallery has been removed.

Recent Stories

Hinds Talk the ‘Prettiest Curse’ and Love for NYC [Interview]

Spanish indie rock outfit Hinds drops their much anticipated third album today, The Prettiest Curse. Prior to the pandemic, I chatted with lead singer and guitarist Carlotta Cosails. An unabashed fan, my goal was to avoid becoming awkward fangirl, Mel, from Flight of the Conchords. A nearly impossible feat, as Hinds’ first two albums, Leave […]

The Reason You Don’t See Trash Cans on the Lower East Side

You may have noticed the lack of trash cans on street corners around the Lower East Side this week. Vanished seemingly overnight. As a precaution this week, the city quietly removed receptacles from neighborhoods overwhelmingly hit by unrest and looting following the killing of George Floyd. It’s estimated that roughly 2,000 were temporarily towed citywide, […]

Pink Protest Signage Screams Poor Taste at the Museum of Ice Cream

When New York City begins its reopening on Monday, SoHo will be boarded up as if for a hurricane, and the streets emptier than when the COVID-19 shutdown began. Signage of the luxury retailers has also been erased by the appearance of bare plywood, Black Lives Matter graffiti, or both. But the Museum of Ice […]

A Scene, Unseen: LES Music Venues, Musicians Stay Visible Despite Closures

By the time this article is published, 11 weeks of self-isolation will have passed. It’s been 11 weeks since many of us have gone to work, since grocery stores have felt safe, and since handshakes have felt friendly. And those are only the most banal, everyday changes. When it comes to the moments we share […]

Lower East Side Businesses Boarded up their Storefronts Amidst Citywide Looting

When the pandemic hit, it was mainly the luxury stores in SoHo that began boarding up the windows for fear of looting. It’s now a reality in the atmosphere following the controversial death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in Minneapolis police custody. For days, looters took to the streets, oftentimes piggybacking off […]