In the fifties, Lewis Mumford imagined a future where Americans would live in underground cities, hiding from the atomic bomb (among other things, like rock'n'roll and "youths").
Well, his predictions have partially come true with the "Low Line" (nickname credit goes to NYMag), a proposal to create an underground park in a disused Lower East Side trolly terminal, lit by fiber optic-powered "remote skylights." Unlike Mumford's vision, though, modern New Yorkers aren't hiding from the bomb, they're hiding from the reality that when you take away the Photoshop glow and models, this looks a lot like Penn Station.
Jokes aside, this is a dramatic and really very ambitious proposal, which is cool in and of itself. It's the work of architect James Ramsey, PopTech executive Dan Barasch and financier R. Boykin Curry IV, says New York Magazine. According to Ramsey (who heads up LES-based Raad Studio), the "remote skylight" idea actually comes from a system used by the ancient Egyptians to filter sunlight into the depths of the pyramids.
As Curbed reports, the Low Line (née Delancey Underground) will go before Community Board 3 next week.
The terminal, at present. Images via New York Magazine.