TRAVEL TOOLS, GREAT GADGETS & COOL STUFF TO DO
Steps and ramps will
cut into an elevated
square over 10th
visitors to descend
into the structure.
(Below) A walkway
is surrounded by a
landscape of native
species that once
on the High Line,
interspersed with new
species that ensure
bloom throughout the
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, actually, it’s a
park. Though not as high as a bird or a
plane, the $170 million High Line Park
just started hovering above Manhattan’s
West Side. The sky park’s first section,
which opened in June, blankets a half
mile of the defunct elevated rail bed that
bisects several blocks between Ninth
and 11th avenues.
The High Line, abandoned as a rail
system in 1980, has had a colorful history.
It was preceded by a street-level train line
built in 1847, which ran freight between
Albany and Manhattan warehouses. Thereafter, a 13-mile elevated rail was constructed in the 1930s to prevent the frequent
deaths caused by trains on what came to
be known as Death Avenue. After the rail
system closed, preservation-ists gained
widespread support and prevented a one-and-a-half-mile section of structure from
being torn down.
The High Line is now one of the
world’s most innovative public spaces.
Its distance from tra;c noise makes it
tranquil, and its placement on the city’s
growing West Side makes it accessible.
It contains tapered walkways, benches
that seamlessly peel up from the floorboards, original tracks from the storied
rail system, and many of the 161 wild
plant species that inhabited the rail bed
after its abandonment.
The park’s creation has generated
widespread enthusiasm for repurposing
old, unused city structures. Similar projects are already under way in Chicago,
Jersey City, Atlanta and Rotterdam. If
deemed a success, the High Line will be
a lasting inspiration for American cities.
DESIGN B Y FIELD OPERATIONS AND DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO. COUR TES Y OF THE CI TY OF NE W YORK.