December 6, 2011

Getting Down With "The Low Line"

Down under Delancey Street, at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, lies an old trolley terminus that has been sitting vacant for 60-some years.  Now there is a push to revive the space and maybe turn it into an underground park.

The NY Times recently did a piece about what has come to be known as "The Low Line", a nickname for the project inspired by the success of another reuse of abandoned rail infrastructure, The High Line. Though the two guys who are trying to make this happen are optimistic and the MTA is very eager to lease some of its real estate, the project has a long way to go, both financially and even theoretically. 

I think it's gonna be tough to get people to hang out underground near a major subway station, even if they filter in natural sunlight as pictured above.  A similar project was attempted in Washington DC in the '90s where a food court was developed in an old trolley terminus at Dupont Circle that met with disaster and lawsuits.  Below is the MTA's recent video showcasing the space, which is roughly 600ft x 100ft.  It looks pretty bleak but then again, so did the High Line ten years ago. Time and corporate backing will tell....

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