COOL GREEN SPACE CREATED IN NEW YORK CITY

HIGH LINE landscape project in New York City by Eric J. von Hofen
High Line, New York City’s new green space project, is an elevated area that runs along the old train tracks on the lower West Side.  The first section of the project opened on June 9, 2009, and runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street.  The second section, from West 20th Street to West 30th Street, opened in June 2011.

According to the Friends of High Line website, “The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.
View on the tracks of HIGH LINE by Eric J. von Hofen

In 2004, Friends of the High Line and the City of New York conducted a process to select a design team for the High Line. They selected the team of James Corner Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an architecture firm, and experts in horticulture, engineering, security, maintenance, public art, and other disciplines.

In November of 2005, The City took ownership of the High Line from CSX Transportation, Inc. (who donated the structure), and the City and CSX signed a Trail Use Agreement.  Taken together, these two actions effectively preserved the High Line south of 30th Street.”

Over the next four years the first section of the above ground park began to take shape. The tracks were removed, cleaned and stored for later installation in the landscape design. The team began to bring in dirt and to install the plant material. Walkways and stairs were added for access throughout the track system. Tracks were then reinstalled into the design as the final touch, reminding anyone visiting the High Line that they are standing on a part of New York history.

The next time you are in New York, check out the must-see High Line project and support the Friends of High Line. This project is truly something special and it will be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come. This HD video shows the final product – the result of years of hard work to build new green space in New York City.

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