The High Line runs through three of Manhattan's most dynamic neighborhoods: the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton. When the High Line was built in the 1930s, these neighborhoods were dominated by industrial and transportation uses. Now many of the warehouses and factories have been converted to art galleries, design studios, retailers, restaurants, museums, and residences.
The Meatpacking District
Much of the first section of the High Line is located in the Meatpacking District. Around 1900, the district was home to more than 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants. Before the High Line was built, trains on street level, as well as barges and ships from the Hudson River, brought goods to the district for processing. When the High Line was built, it carried freight trains full of meat and other goods directly to the upper floors of these meatpacking plants and factories.
In recent decades, as industrial uses have declined in New York City, the Meatpacking District has seen a resurgence of other uses. Its historic cobblestone streets and low-lying industrial buildings are now home to many restaurants, nightclubs, design and photography studios, and fashion boutiques.
Visit the Meatpacking District Initiative's Web site for more information.
In 2003, following a community-led effort, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission established the Gansevoort Market Historic District in recognition of the neighborhood’s historical importance.
Download the Gansevoort Market Historic District Designation Report.
The corner of Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, at the High Line’s southern end, is the future location of a new Whitney Museum of American Art facility. Pre-construction has begun on the site, and the facility is currently projected to open in 2012. Visit the Whitney's Web site for more information.
The High Line south of 14th Street is located within the district of Manhattan Community Board No. 2. For more information on Community Board No. 2, please visit the Community Board 2 Web site.
To the north of the Meatpacking District is the neighborhood of West Chelsea, where the majority of the High Line is located. West Chelsea shares the industrial past of the Meatpacking District, with large factories and warehouses lining its streets and avenues. West Chelsea is now home to the world’s largest concentration of art galleries.
In 2005, much of West Chelsea was rezoned by the Department of City Planning, to allow for the High Line's reuse, to encourage the continued use of former industrial spaces as art galleries, and to encourage economic growth through residential development along Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.
Read more about the West Chelsea Rezoning on the Department of City Planning Web site.
Much of Chelsea was, and continues to be, residential; its tree-lined blocks of historic townhouses earned part of it designation as the Chelsea Historic District in 1970, with an extension added in 1981.
Download the Chelsea Historic District Map.
The creation of another Historic District, in West Chelsea, was recently approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This District focuses on the industrial history of the neighborhood, and includes many historically and architecturally significant factory and warehouse buildings.
Download the West Chelsea Historic District Report.
The High Line north of 14th Street is located within the district of Manhattan Community Board No. 4. For information on Community Board No. 4, please visit the Community Board 4 Web site.
Clinton / Hell's Kitchen
The High Line’s northernmost section runs through the southern section of the Clinton / Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Much of this neighborhood was part of the 2005 Hudson Yards Rezoning, which was meant to encourage large-scale development and the improvement of transportation infrastructure. In the next decade or so, this neighborhood will likely undergo significant changes to its built environment.
Read more about the Hudson Yards Rezoning on the Department of City Planning's Web site.
West Side Rail Yards
North of 30th Street, the High Line runs around the perimeter of the West Side Rail Yards, located between Tenth and Twelfth Avenues and 30th and 33rd Streets. This section of the High Line is not yet owned by the City. Its future depends on a planning process now underway between the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the State agency that owns the site; the Related Companies, the developer leasing the site for a large-scale development; and the City.
Throughout the planning process, Friends of the High Line is working with these parties, as well as with many community groups and elected officials, to ensure that the entire historic High Line is preserved at the West Side rail yards.
More information on the High Line at the Rail Yards