LowLine: New York’s New Underground Park

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New York City may seem like the last place that you’d expect to see plantlife set amongst the grit and grime of the streets. Think again! Two visionaries named Dan Barasch and Jay Ramsey are taking green life to somewhere even more unique and unusual — under the streets of NYC. Meet their vision for one of the world’s first underground parks, LowLine.

Barasch and Ramsey are at the helm of this brand new project that includes plans to use solar technology to help transform an unused trolley terminal into a lush, green space. Opened in 1908, the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal on the Lower East Side was used by commuters until 1948 when the transportation services were ended. While the space has been untouched in the six decades since, much of the original architecture stands intact. This includes incredible vaulted ceilings, trolley tracks and cobblestrone streets once walked by the population of Manhattan.

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After first making waves with their Kickstarter efforts in 2012, the Lowline team raised over $150,000 for their project and set about creating a functioning full-scale model in a building above the trolley terminal. The key to the greenery in the park is the solar technology developed by Ramsey himself. With solar collection discs above grounds (think    satellite dishes), light from the sun is brought below the surface of the street and allows plantlife to complete photosynthesis.

With the full model scale functioning aboveground, the team has been working on securing the proper permits and support from elected officials to complete the underground project. In 2014, the Lowline team will continue to work with the transit authority and New York City to transfer ownership to the group. While it may seem far away, Ramsey and Barasch hope to have the Lowline park up and running by 2018.

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The concept of an underground park and the technology used to create such a dream space is something that the crew at the House of Marley can easily relate too. Ever since our company started, we’ve been dreaming up ways to create earth-friendly audio gear and we can’t help but be excited by any others who take on the same commitment to the earth. Cheers to the Lowline crew and hopefully we’ll see you under the Big Apple after your project is completed!

Photo Credit: Lizzy Zevallos/Lowline