Abandoned Trolley Tunnel Could Become City's First Underground Park
Monday, September 19, 2011
A Lower East Side trolley tunnel could be transformed into the city's first underground park, complete with greenery and a so-called remote skylight. The proposed park is called Delancey Underground because it would sit in a tunnel underneath Delancey St. near the base of the Williamsburg Bridge.
The project, which will be the size of Manhattan's Gramercy Park, is the brainchild of NASA satellite engineer-turned-architect James Ramsey, who has developed a technology that can "harvest" sunlight and "channel" it elsewhere via fiber optic cables. He and his business partners plan to use this piece of science fiction-turned-reality to light what is now a cavernous, dank tunnel that was abandoned in the 1940s.
"We're using an advanced form of technology my office has been working on to bring natural sunlight into this underground space to grow plants and trees," Ramsey said.
Ramsey, who is the owner and founder of the architecture and design firm RAAD Studio, and his two business partners will present the idea of the Delancey Underground park to the public for the first time at a Community Board 3 meeting on Wednesday night.