New Jersey’s Bergen Arches was a four-track cut of the Erie Railroad that ran 1 mile through the Palisades in Jersey City and used to link the railroad’s main line to the Hudson River waterfront and Manhattan for 30,000 daily passengers.
Though the passage was finished in 1910, since the last train ran in 1959, it has become unused, overgrown and essentially forgotten. Not anymore.
So + So Studio, an architecture firm, teamed up with Jersey City-based Green Villain, as well as local residents and activists, to turn the unused space into a locale for artistic and leisure activity.
With a focus on preservation and reuse, the team proposes landscape and architectural interventions to create a new public park and walkway, a place to promote local artists and boost Jersey City’s overall cultural reputation. Dubbed “The Cut,” the project calls for an elevated system of ramps and walkways that will take participants under canopies, through sculpture gardens and into graffiti-tunnels more than 60 feet below ground.
As the creators say, “as our post-industrial city continues to amass mid- to high-rise towers, it is imperative that we look down as much as we look up for the answers about individuality and place.”