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Delancey Underground's 'Low Line' Raises More Than $124K on Kickstarter

LOWER EAST SIDE — The "Low Line" appears to be riding high with donors.

The proposed sunlit park in a former trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street cleared its first fundraising hurdle at the end of last week, bringing in $100,000 in less than 10 days.

"We never thought we would hit it that fast," said Dan Barasch, co-founder of the Delancey Underground project, nicknamed the "Low Line." "It's a sign that we have a lot of people excited about it."

Less than two weeks after Barasch and co-founder James Ramsey posted the project on Kickstarter, they have already received more than $124,000 from more than 2,100 donors. The numbers continue climbing by the hour.

While many of the donations came from New Yorkers, Barasch said the project is receiving support from all over the globe.

"We're getting messages from Shanghai, from France, saying, 'The next time I come to New York, I can't wait to see it,'" Barasch said.

The donated money will go toward building a full-scale model of the high-tech system that would filter enough real sunlight down into the dark, abandoned trolley terminal to grow plants and trees.

Barasch and Ramsey have rented the former Essex Street Market warehouse, just south of Delancey Street, for September, with a plan to build and display the model there.

"It will be one of the most exciting art installations you've ever seen," Barasch said.

In the meantime, those interested in learning more about the project will be able to visit an exhibit this April at Mark Miller Gallery at 92 Orchard St. It will feature new renderings along with current photos of the 60,000-square-foot potential park space, which runs under Delancey Street from Essex to Clinton streets.

Barasch, vice president of PopTech, and Ramsey, a former NASA engineer and founder of RAAD Studio on Chrystie Street, are also working on a feasibility study and business plan for the park, which would include an answer to the much-asked question of how much the Low Line will cost to build.

The team also has to contend with a slew of engineering, legal and political issues, from wheelchair accessibility to deals with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Department of Transportation.

"We have a lot of work to do," Barasch said.