Last month, we told you about the "Rochester Underground," architect Lewis Child's concept for converting Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel into a smaller version of the Atlanta Underground, filled with unique shops and restaurants.
There's another concept for redeveloping that empty space that once carried subway cars beneath the pavement of the Broad Street Bridge -- and before that, canal boats. The "ROC Low Line" concept was developed by nine graduate students of architecture at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a class project. The RIT students see a slightly different use: hiking and biking, playgrounds and gardens inside the arched walls of the tunnel.
Liz Krueger is one of the nine graduate students who drew up the concept. She said they were inspired by New York City's "High Line," an abandoned elevated railroad that was turned into a park and is now a popular spot for New Yorkers and tourists. They believe the "Low Line" would likewise bring people downtown.
Krueger said their vision is for green space and gardens outside the entrance to the tunnel beneath the Rundell Library on South Avenue. Inside would be a hiking and biking trail, fountains and other water features, playgrounds and recreational space. Shafts would let natural light down through the street above, combined with artificial lighting for night and cloudy days.
Krueger stresses that their vision isn't the only way to use the space. She said the important elements are good lighting and room for people to play and relax while enjoying unique views of downtown and the Genesee River.