Coming soon to New York, an underground park: The Lowline


Originally published at:


This kind of thing worked out well for the folks in Rapture


And Caves of Steel. Still, I’m down with the now imminent era of transportation by progressively faster slidewalks :relaxed:


It can’t be that underground, if people have heard of it.


I want to have hope about the Lowline, but my concerns always vary when it comes to who pays for what and who gets access? Because the High Line has a ton of money behind it because it’s visible as hell and the local hotels love that it increases foot traffic and provides a destination.

This is underground, there is no “let’s go for ice cream!” Therefore, fewer sponsors. Therefore, less maintenance. Therefore, charging people. Therefore, creating a private park similar to Grammercy Park, just around the corner.

Again, I want to love it. I want it to be a thing that succeeds. I want people to have more green spaces, and this might be an opportune way to achieve that in a crowded LES, but it may be that they’re better off spending 80 million dollars on the existing local gardens that grow food for people.


It’s comment like this of when I tire of your other/regular shtick makes me appreciate you all over again.


“Other/regular shtick”? Us Trump supporting, Bible believing, Traditional Marriage defending, Constitutional Conservatives can be hipsters too!

The only differences between us and regular hipsters is our single-speed bicycles run on coal and our steampunk guns are actual guns.


It’s also a lovely sign of the dystopia+ to come.


Seems like it would be a lot easier to just put the plants and park wherever the solar collector would go so you wouldn’t have to bend the light. I do like the danger element where it sounds like you could fry a person like an ant if some poor urban explorer or maintenance person finds their way into the focal point.


The collectors aren’t that big, and designed to be up on roof spaces anyway, where the general public can’t go due to a ton of building insurance reasons.


Oh what a letdown. So it’s just an industrial version of the Sun Tunnel

which means it’s not going to be able to support much photosynthesis.


Well, it’s all shade plants. They say the collectors have the capability to gather a ton of light due to the focusing of the beam, but you and I both know 50% is going to be lost in the tube anyway.

Again, I want to be pleasantly surprised by this but I have a feeling the reality is going to bring me down.


You mean all that roof living I see in movies and television is all b.s.? :disappointed:



You don’t have one of these?

I’m disappointed in you.


I can’t speak for the execution or municipal funding priorities, but I’m captivated by the concept, especially the idea of leaving a frozen urban street in the winter and entering an underground surreal spot-lit pocket of summertime verdancy. Underground urban gardening! I would totally visit the idealized version of it that I imagine, if I lived nearby.


How long until this underground park become the dark, scary, stinky place nobody in their right mind would visit?



I had one, until they got popular.


Hey, you don’t build Underground Kansas in a day, so I’m glad they are getting a head start. Make hay while the sun shines and all that.


They have a ‘demonstrator’ space called the Lowline Lab in the old Essex Market on Essex Street, which you can visit on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s nice to see the mix of plants apparently thriving under artificial light (or rather, sunlight redirected from the collectors above) but the space does feel a little somber. I think it will be hard for them to make the Lowline a fun place to linger, like the High Line. I think people may enjoy the plants and the aesthetic, but the slightly may mean that they may not want to hang out there. Going there may feel less like chilling in a park, and more like a museum visit.

It’s also unlikely to offer the same opportunities for voyeurism as the High Line.