Courtesy Raad Studio

In a video, the MTA invites developers to build an underground park

You may be familiar with the Essex Street Trolley Terminal if you’ve taken any interest in the so-called Low Line project, covered here. Now, perhaps reacting to public interest stirred by the Low Line’s seductive renderings and the sci-fi allure of an underground park, the MTA, which owns the property, has produced a video tour of the subterranean vacancy in an attempt to lure potential investors and design professionals. As tour guide and MTA employee Peter Hine suggests, the space is conducive to all manner of inventive reuse, not the least of which includes an elitist restaurant with views to the paupers riding on the adjacent subway line or, of course, a night club. Never does he mention the idea for a park, as his revenue-driven proposals implicitly deny the plausibility of realizing a public project such as the Low Line. Given that most public parks aren’t the High Line–meaning they generate little to zero profits for the parties involved–it seems sadly unlikely that anything remotely creative or funky as the Low Line will occupy the abandoned Trolley Terminal beneath Delancey Street any time soon.

This article originally appeared at, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A crowded street outside in Boston

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  2. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  3. People wait in line, holding tote bags in the sunshine, outside a job fair.

    How 3 Skill Sets Explain U.S. Economic Geography

    Metro areas in the U.S. with higher cognitive and people skills, versus motor skills, perform better economically and are more resilient during downturns.

  4. A man stands next to an electric scooter

    Why Electric Scooters Companies Are Getting Serious About Safety

    Lime has joined rival Bird in establishing a safety advisory board tasked with helping the e-scooter industry shape local regulations—and shake its risky reputation.

  5. A polar-bear cub sits on a rock outcropping as a crowd looks on in the background.

    What Zoo Design Reveals About Human Attitudes to Nature

    Author Natascha Meuser describes zoo architecture as a “masquerade” that borrows from museums, prisons, and theaters.