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admin 18.05.2015

Syracuse University graduate Jeff Kamuda's "Excavating Wilderness" design concept explores the tension that exists between the built environment and wilderness through a wild subterranean space beneath Central Park. Finally, five pairs of twin towers on the site’s northern edge cast site lines that align themselves with the city grid – marking the cosmic event of Manhattanhenge four times annually.
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There are many amazing ghost stations across the world, but New York City‘s long-disused City Hall subway station is arguably one of the most striking. But its innovative engineering and decorative design weren’t enough to keep City Hall operational into the second half of the 20th century. In addition, the platform at City Hall was built on a tight curve, and lengthening it to cope with the demands of modern trains would have been a massive civil engineering effort.
The Lowline cofounder Dan Barasch visited a meeting of the Brooklyn Futurist Meetup last Wednesday to spell out ten guiding principles for the world’s first underground park. Built in 1908 as a turnaround for the Williamsburg Bridge Railway Trolley Terminal, the space was closed in 1948 and was inherited by the MTA. According to the Department of Transportation, you can put a bench anywhere in the city and it’ll get used.
The contract for the massive redevelopment of six neighboring parking lots was awarded last month to a team of developers and investors.
Barasch points out that local kids are acutely aware of how park-poor and pedestrian-unsafe the neighborhood is. Despite New York City’s reputation for being a bastion of the arts – and art patrons – Barasch laments that avant-garde art is conspicuously and undeservedly underfunded.
Between retail and real estate benefits, some estimate west Chelsea now benefits from the High Line to the tune of $2 billion annually.
Anyone who has ever ridden the 6 train through the abandoned City Hall subway station (as, no doubt, many of this blog’s readers have) will sympathize with Barasch’s dismay that the city isn’t always so appreciative of its buried gems. The Lowline team acknowledges that technologies are constantly changing and improving, but they are quick to point out that existing ones are getting cheaper.
Before being buried by Madison Square Garden in 1964, Penn Station was as grand a public space as Grand Central Terminal. As reluctant as the Lowline is to be compared to its Chelsea progenitor, the High Line is widely regarded as a model for a scrappy planning process that led to diverse mix of robust funding models.
Across the Atlantic: London's River Westbourne, which runs from Hampstead, through Hyde Park to Sloane Square and into the River Thames at Chelsea. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.


The mile-long space extends from the Grand Army Plaza at 59th Street to the American Museum of Natural History at 77th Street and features three main parts that rely on the sun and underground exposed rock to illuminate key moments in New York City's history. In a way, the excavation project is an inverted mirror of the iconic Manhattan skyline, but it’s also deeply rooted to nature (pun intended). We’re not sure something of this scale could ever be realized, but it is definitely an interesting concept that asks us to reconsider our relationship to nature — and Central Park!
These acts cover a multitude of cultural and musical genres including varying drum routines, an Inca music group, doo wop groups and opera singers. Opened amid much fanfare on October 27, 1904 as the grand southern terminus of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) on what was originally known as the Manhattan Main Line, City Hall was in reality never particularly busy, and closed to passenger traffic on New Years Eve, 1945. While faded, the original splendour of City Hall station remains evident in its vaulted ceilings, terracotta tiles, skylights and brass chandeliers. Serving just 600 passengers per day, City Hall couldn’t compete with nearby Brooklyn Bridge station, which provided local and express services as well as connections to Park Row station and the Brooklyn Bridge streetcar. With the writing on the wall by the end of World War Two, the last passenger service departed New York City’s grandest subway station on December 31, 1945. Despite the ostensibly forward-thinking crowd, Barasch was met with some of the same skepticism and resistance he might expect at a Community Board 3 meeting.
Barasch points out that the Lower East Side was traditionally an immigrant neighborhood, and early public space on the Lower East Side was limited to the street space. But the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, as it is known, sets aside only 10,000 square feet for public space out of a total of 1.5 million square feet of housing, retail and other uses. Not only is the Manhattan approach to the Williamsburg Bridge one of the most fatal intersections for pedestrians in the city, but the subway platform underneath is dangerously narrow and has been the site of numerous accidents. The team warmed up to some local stalwarts by inviting Katz’s Deli and others to hawk their goodies in the demonstration exhibit last year. The Lowline has long been leery of comparisons to the High Line (Barasch and Ramsey even changed the name from Delancey Underground when they realized they couldn’t fight it), but its older sister’s star power will no doubt help raise its own profile. The Lowline is the largest surviving example of the street car era, and it has been preserved as if in amber. The use of mirrors to concentrate light and fiber-optic cables to transport it is hardly groundbreaking science.
It was an ambitious – and expensive – gateway to the city that paid dividends in the form of increased real estate value for the neighborhood.
For its exhibition in 2012, the Lowline hit its Kickstarter goal of $100,000 within one week, setting a speed record for the crowdfunder’s public design category.
As Urlesque reports, "urban explorer" Duncan wanders through the subway underbelly without consent from the New York City Transit Authority.


Each year, the Music Under New York (MUSIC) program holds an audition at Grand Central Station by invitation only. Combined, these musicians play over 7500 performances every year and are strategically placed around the city in approximately 30 different, high volume locations. Only recently has the transit authority begun soliciting ideas for its reuse and offering perennially sold-out tours of the space through its museum.
He wants to capitalize on the limited sense of community that neighborhood has inherited and give us something other than a Starbucks or a bar for the place we spend our time outside of work and home. An additional acre won’t be much, but the neighborhood is already severely lacking in green space.
The Lowline aims to realign the platforms and establish new entrances to the subway, thereby reducing pedestrian crossings over Delancey Street. To everyone’s delight, the vendors and their tables and chairs helped turn a mostly dark warehouse into a place where people actually liked to hang out. That it is still intact after 70 years of neglect is a pretty impressive gauge of its resilience. Market forces are already driving large hospitals and research centers to utilize the same concepts to bring natural light indoors and even underground. Early on Barasch warned against the much easier and more technically feasible option of putting a shopping concourse or a plain subway entrance below Delancey Street. In 2014, he hopes to find a semi-permanent location to begin developing the necessary technologies. While any one musician or group can apply for a tryout, only about 60 hopefuls will be approved to showcase their talent at the live audition.
The Lowline scored its first big PR coup in 2011 when New York magazine ran a tidy introduction to Barasch and co-conspirator James Ramsey. In a new gimmick, Absolut Vodka is partnering with several neighborhood bars to offer a Lowline cocktail, with $1 of each sold going to the Lowline.
He imagines light collectors doing double duty as bus shelters, benches, or charging stations, and a thick glass wall allowing park-goers to see but not hear the subways rumbling by next door. The person playing is avidly focused on the task at hand, eyes closed tightly, their head swaying to the rhythm. But Barasch thinks the Lowline is a fantastic opportunity for a philanthropist to put their mark on New York City while they’re still alive.



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