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Delancey Underground Show Opens at Mark Miller Gallery Tomorrow

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James Ramsey, Dan Barasch stand in front of a giant rendering in the Mark Miller Gallery.

If you’re curious to learn more about the Delancey Underground, that audacious proposal to build a park in an abandoned trolley terminal, you’re in luck. To kick off a month long exhibition, these guys – James Ramsey and Dan Barasch – will be at the Mark Miller Gallery tomorrow to answer all of your questions and to show off some interesting new visuals.

There was a press preview Thursday in advance of the show, which is called “Let There Be Light.”  The event generated plenty of media interest; there was even a big piece on Al Jazeera yesterday (see the video below).

Mark Miller, who in addition to operating the gallery is president of the Lower East Side BID, has been a strong proponent of the “LowLine,” as the project is known.  The Business Improvement District has formally endorsed the concept,  touting the potential for creating a major tourist attraction in the neighborhood and boosting foot traffic (something stores along Orchard Street and elsewhere desperately need).

During the exhibit, you’ll be able to see renderings of the park and view dramatic photos from the dark, dank space below Delancey Street.  Also on view: a small collector dish, a key element of Ramsey’s plan to transport sunlight underground.  There’s also a 3D model of the space and an animated video showing what the park could look like.  On the gallery’s lower level, you can even get a look at James’ early sketches, which he used to shape the initial proposal.

A prototype of a solar reflector that could be used to transmit sunlight to a dark space.
The LowLine in development: an early sketch.

The show is part of the lead-up to a much bigger public event scheduled for next fall in the abandoned Essex Street Market building on the south side of Delancey Street.  James and Dan intend to set up a mini-version of the park and to demonstrate the solar technology, which has been tested on a small scale but not in a large space.

On Thursday, James told us the Delancey Underground has begun working with Arup Engineering, a highly regarded firm helping to build the 2nd Avenue Subway.  Inhabitat reported, “Arup’s work with the LowLine will involve a wide arrange of the firm’s skill set, including geotechnical engineering, structural/mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering, lighting, acoustics, traffic, wayfinding, fire/life safety, and cost estimating consulting.”

A very successful Kickstarter campaign will help fund both the feasibility study and the Essex Street Market demo.  With one week to go, the online-fundraising drive has raised nearly $145,000.

Dan and James will be on hand at the Mark Miller Gallery, tomorrow from noon-6 p.m.  The gallery is located at 92 Orchard Street. The exhibition will continue through the month of April.


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