When former PopTech executive Dan Barasch and RAAD studio principal James Ramsey first presented their idea for Delancy Underground, a project to turn the abandoned Williamsburg Trolley Terminal under Delancey street into a subterranean park to Manhattan Community Board No. 3 last September, little did they know that less than a year later they would have the support of 2,900 backers*, surpassed their $100,000 dollar fundraising goal and be well on their way to funding the project’s next phase of building a full scale technology demo.
More familiarly known as the “LowLine” in part owing to the inspiration of New York city’s Highline, Delancy Underground takes an innovative approach to public space, art and technology incorporating project co-founder and former NASA engineer James Ramsey’s light irrigation system “to gather sunlight, concentrate it, and reflect it below ground …” and making use of remnant space while taking social, economic and environmental impact into consideration. Consequently, LowLine has received significant press coverage including articles in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and CNN along with some high profile supporters such as Morris Vogel, President of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
Co-Founder Dan Barasch responded to my questions on how they feel about having exceeded their fundraising goal, future plans and updates on the project’s progress:
“We are truly delighted to have exceeded our initial fundraising goal on Kickstarter. Now we know we will be able to build a full-scale technology demo in September, and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us. In addition to building the remote skylight technology and creating a simulation of our full-scale park concept, we are also undergoing very robust engineering and feasibility research over the next few months, to further develop our plan. Our hope is to unveil all of this research in September around the time of the demo—but much more support is needed for us to complete all this work in time. We encourage our supporters to help us reach a higher level of support on Kickstarter in its final week, to enable our accelerated pace of work.
We are also hosting a month long public art exhibit at the Mark Miller Gallery from April 1–29, to engage the community and hear directly from our neighbors on what kind of park they would like to see. We’re conducting an open house on April 1 and would like to encourage folks to attend. More info is here: http://www.markmillergallery.com/”
To make a contribution or find out more about LowLine visit delanceyunderground.org
* Number noted is as of this reporting