“Imagining the Low Line” Comes to Essex Street Market

Inside Essex Street Market building D. Photos via Low Line Flickr page.
Inside Essex Street Market building D. Photos via Low Line Flickr page.

As we have noted in the past, the team behind the “Low Line”  is planning a major exhibition in an abandoned building of the Essex Street Market next month.  One goal, among others, is to demonstrate technology that will transport sunlight into a proposed park under Delancey Street.   Work began this week to transform the market building (located on the south side of Delancey Street) into a mini-version of the park, the full-scale version of which would sprout from a trolley terminal decommissioned in 1948.

The exhibition, debuting September 15, is called “Imagining the Low Line.”  Here’s a description of the happening from the Low Line’s web site:

…Visitors will experience a solar technology exhibit featuring a shimmering solar canopy, a planted green space, and a first-hand look at the potential of remote skylights underground.  Additionally, exhibition partners Audi of America and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), will present “Experiments in Motion,” a 50-foot-long suspended model of Manhattan’s subway grid that contextualizes the Lowline within the city’s huge inventory of underground spaces.  The 1:1500-scale replica of Manhattan’s mobility infrastructure presents a never-before-seen-view of every subway station on the island.

The project was officially unveiled last year. Although it has yet to be approved by the MTA (which controls the site), local elected officials and community groups have endorsed the concept.  A Kickstarter campaign raised $155,000 and this week the organization announced it raised another $75,000 during the summer. An “angel” donor pledged to match that amount. Co-founder Dan Barasch estimates the project will cost around $50 million.   Next month, a feasibility study commissioned by the Low Line organization will be publicly released.

Here’s the schedule, for the “Imagining the Low Line” installation.  It includes two “DayLife” events coordinated with the LES Business Improvement District featuring neighborhood businesses.

  • Saturday, September 15th: 12-6pm
    Launch Day: Free and open to public
  • Sunday, September 16th: 12-6pm
    “Day Life” street fair:  Free and open to public
  • Monday- Tuesday, September 17-18
    Closed for Rosh Hashana
  • Wednesday, September 19th: 12-6pm
    Free and open to public
  • Thursday, September 20th: 12-6pm
    Free and open to public
  • Friday, September 21th: 12-6pm
    Free and open to public
  • Saturday, September 22th: 12-6pm
    Free and open to public
  • Sunday, September 23rd: 12-6pm
    “Day Life” street fair: free and open to public

And here are a few more initial setup pictures: