Diane Pham

VIDEO: Inhabitat Interviews the Designers of the Low Line Underground Park

by , 09/05/12

undergound park, low line, low line nyc, high line nyc, high line park, low line park, RAAD, RAAD architects, james ramsey, Dan Barasch, poptech

Inhabitat: Why do you think the Lower East Side needs a project like this?

James Ramsey:This particular pocket of the Lower East Side is one of the richest cultural pockets in the country, and it’s where most of our grandparents first lived when they came to this country. At the same time, it’s a neighborhood that has been sort of historically overlooked by planners and the powers that be. The idea that we can actually reclaim this space via the use of technology, and to create a community amenity for one that’s historically been overlooked, really, is something that’s been very powerful to me and that resonates with the idea of actually beginning to stitch back together a tear in the urban fabric.

Inhabitat: So this project is so awesome – we really want to see it come to fruition. What do you guys need to make this happen?

James Ramsey: This is a very ambitious project and a very complex undertaking, so we need all the support we can get. We need financial support so we can do all our engineering studies and create our proposal, and we need just grassroots support. We need to actually build enthusiasm, and we want people to be vocal to their leaders, to the local politicians, etcetera. We want to build a movement to create nothing less than a landmark for the Lower East Side.

Inhabitat: What kind of reaction are you getting for this project from the community?

James Ramsey: The reaction that we’ve gotten not only in New York, but around the world, really, has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive. I think in a lot of ways we are hitting on some sort of cultural nerve. New York City’s the city I was born in; it is the city that I love, and there’s this idea that it’s an infinite city with so many layers of complexity. I think the underground spaces of New York — these lost underground spaces — are just another thing that hints to us here’s just more to the surface of this city than you might see at first glance. Something about that is currently resonating culturally, and it’s something that I think not only I, but a lot of people find interesting.

Video by Phelps Harmon

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7 Comments

  1. Phillip May 20, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Yay! Just whats needed.. an underground hangout for skaters, homeless, delinquent students, and riff-raff. So who’s patrolling this new 60,000 square foot space? NYC Finest.. at a cost of course. And they still have to patrol up top too. I have a better idea. Say, underground parking. Free the surrounding streets of parked cars. Or better yet.. make it a citi-bikes depot. I can think of lots of public uses.

  2. Jennifer Barbour May 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for profiling this. A brilliant idea that is certain to catch on.

  3. nicoleabene May 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Wow! I can’t wait to hang out here – what a great use of space!

  4. Yuka Yoneda Yuka Yoneda May 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    This is going to be the next biggest thing in NYC and is sure to add value to the nabe. Can’t wait!

  5. Charley Cameron Charley Cameron May 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Such a strange and unusual idea I love it!

  6. Mike Chino Mike Chino May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I love seeing inspiring urban infrastructure renovation projects like this one!

  7. Lori Zimmer Lori Zimmer May 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I cannot WAIT for this to become a reality, what an amazing idea. I love New York