Take a Peek at the World's First Underground Park

Philip Lange, courtesy of The Lowline
Philip Lange, courtesy of The Lowline / Philip Lange, courtesy of The Lowline

New York tourists and locals alike love the High Line, an outdoor public park that’s constructed across an old freight rail line on Manhattan’s West Side. Now, builders of the Lowline—the world’s first proposed underground park—have given visitors a peek at what the subterranean gardens might look like if they ever open to the public.

Like the High Line, the Lowline would transform an unused section of New York’s extensive transit system—in this case, a 48-year-old abandoned underground trolley terminal on the Lower East Side—into a public green space with vegetation and flowers. Solar-harnessing technology would provide the plants with much-needed sunlight, allowing them to flourish deep below ground.

The Lowline hasn't been built yet, and it probably won’t open for quite some time—if ever—due to legal red tape and funding issues, Gothamist reports. And despite several successful Kickstarter campaigns under its belt, the project still needs about $70 million to become a reality. However, involved parties recently opened up a preview space dubbed the "Lowline Lab" in a warehouse on Essex Street. Located just two blocks from the suggested Lowline site, the 1000-square-foot room serves as a simulation of how the park will look and operate. Someday, planners say, the Lowline could stretch for 50,000 square feet underground and include plants like live trees, pineapples, ferns, moss, and mushrooms.

Until the Lowline becomes real—a time the organization has optimistically slated for 2020—you can visit the Lab for free on weekends through spring 2016. Nowhere near New York? Take a peek at what the attraction might look like in the pictures below.

All photos by Philip Lange, courtesy of The Lowline

[h/t Gothamist]