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Donations Flood In to Support 'Low Line' Park Under Delancey Street

By Julie Shapiro | February 23, 2012 11:30am

LOWER EAST SIDE — Donations are pouring in to support a bold proposal to build a sunlit park under Delancey Street.

Less than 24 hours after the founders of Delancey Underground, nicknamed the "Low Line," launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, they have already received more than $12,500 from 60 supporters.

"This is just the beginning," Delancey Underground co-founder Dan Barasch said in a video on Kickstarter. "Help us create the Low Line, a beautiful park that all New Yorkers can enjoy for generations to come."

The project would convert an abandoned trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street into an inviting 60,000-square-foot public space by funneling in enough natural sunlight to grow trees and flowers. The park would stretch from Essex to Clinton streets beneath the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge.  

Barasch, vice president of PopTech, and co-founder James Ramsey, a former NASA engineer, hope to raise a total of $100,000 on Kickstarter to build a scale model of the park, including the high-tech system they invented to gather sunlight and beam it underground.

They hope to put the mockup on display at Essex Street Market, so community members can see how it would work and weigh in with their thoughts.

The project has already won support from City Councilwoman Margaret Chin and the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, and Barasch and Ramsey have already met many times with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the space.