THE HIGH LINE
1 February 2010
Located 30-feet above Manhattan, The High Line is a new public park that exhibits innovative world-class design.
The High Line is a New York City park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated 1930s freight rail structure on Manhattan’s West Side. The first public park of its kind in the United States, the High Line is located 30 feet above Manhattan.
The first section of The High Line, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, opened in June 2009 and was a culmination of more than three years of construction and 10 years of planning. The second section, from 20th Street to 30th Street, will open in 2010.
Built in the 1930s to remove dangerous freight trains from Manhattan’s streets, the High Line rail structure delivered milk, meat, produce and raw and manufactured goods to the upper stories of factories and warehouses. Train traffic on the High Line began to decrease in the 1950s due to the rise of interstate trucking. The last train ran on the High Line in 1980.
“Rather than destroying this valuable piece of our history, we have recycled an innovative and exciting park that will provide more outdoor space for our citizens and create jobs and economic benefits for our city,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at the official opening in June 2009.
The High Line’s landscape was designed by James Corner Field Operations, in partnership with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and planting designer Piet Oudolf. The design was inspired by the wild, self-seeded landscape that grew on the High Line rail structure during the 25 years after the trains stopped running.
The High Line landscape is made up of grasses, perennials, trees and bushes, similar to the High Line’s original landscape. Plant species were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability and textural and colour variation, with a focus on native species. The steel art-deco railings were restored, concrete pathways, lighting and seating installed and many of the original rail tracks incorporated into the landscape. There is also an elevator and bathrooms.
The High Line is a free public park, open 7am—10pm daily. It is managed by the non-profit organisation, Friends of the High Line. The park has made it possible for New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world to take a leisurely stroll 30 feet in the air through some of Manhattan’s most historic neighbourhoods in a way never thought possible.
“Knowing that this once blighted and abandoned railroad bed, previously seen as an eyesore, is now one of the most innovative and celebrated parks in the world is a magnificent testament to the power of civic-mindedness, creativity and collaboration in our great city,” said Speaker Quinn at the opening.
Friends of the High Line
Ph: (212) 206-9922
Client: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; Maintenance & Operation: Friends of the High Line; Landscape Design: James Corner Field Operations; Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Plant Designer: Piet Oudolf.
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