High Line

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Clay Grable
Photo by Andrew FraszLooking north into the Chelsea Market Passage, the former site of the Nabisco building, at dawn. Photo by Andrew Frasz

First-time High Line visitors may wonder: Does this park run into that building? Does this park go through that building? The High Line does, in fact, run through a handful of buildings. For those who expected their walk to be an exclusively outdoor affair, this impromptu inside view can prove surprising. But what really makes this arrangement so arresting is not the invasion of these buildings’ interiors, but rather those buildings’ accommodation of the High Line.

The truth is that most of these buildings were constructed alongside the High Line specifically to integrate with it. This design allowed the freight trains that ran goods along the High Line to stop in on the second level of these buildings for easy loading and unloading. Originally, many buildings welcomed the High Line inside their loading docks high above the street. Today, the High Line runs through only two buildings that were originally built to host trains: the Cudahy Packing Company building and the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) building.

Kate Lindquist
The rail yards section will extend the High Line’s distinct design vocabulary established south of West 30th Street, evoking the High Line’s history as an active freight rail line, and the unique self-seeded landscape that grew between the tracks when the trains stopped running in the 1980s.

We have made major advances at the rail yards this summer.

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn announced that the City of New York has acquired the High Line at the rail yards from CSX Transportation, Inc., bringing us one step closer toward starting construction. Our next steps are fundraising to pay for transforming the rail yards section into a public park, and collaborating on the design with our City partners and the team of James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.

Last night we presented the latest design renderings at community input meeting, where more than 200 supporters joined us to share feedback and ask questions.

Follow us after the jump to view some of the new design renderings.

Kate Lindquist
The High Line, looking south from West 23rd Street. Photo by Iwan Baan.

In case you missed it, last month Travel + Leisure named the High Line as No. 10 on its list of the world’s most popular landmarks.

Kate Lindquist
presentationHigh Line at the Rail Yards Community Meeting in December, 2011. Photo by Yoon Kim

We asked. You told us. Now the fun begins.

Kate Lindquist
EnlargeHigh Line Talk

Planning to give a copy of our new book, High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky, as a holiday gift?

Join us this week to get the book signed by the authors, Joshua David and Robert Hammond. The High Line Co-Founders will be at Charles Nolan on Thursday, December 8 and the Whitney Museum of American Art on Friday, December 9.

Kate Lindquist
Friends of the High Line staff take a tour of the Reading Viaduct with members of the non-profit group dedicated to creating a public park in the space, Viaduct Greene. Photo by Rick Darke.Friends of the High Line staff take a tour of the Reading Viaduct with members of the non-profit group dedicated to creating a public park in the space, Viaduct Greene. Photo by Rick Darke.

New York City is not the only urban center in the United States with an elevated railway like the High Line.

Enlargereading viaduct2

In Philadelphia, an old freight and passenger rail line called the Reading Viaduct winds above the streets and between buildings just north of the city’s center. Just like the High Line, the trains stopped running decades ago, and since then nature has taken over the tracks. The self-seeded landscape has inspired some local residents to join together to advocate for the historic structure to be transformed into public open space.

We took a field trip to Philadelphia on October 20 to walk the line, observe the wild landscape, and share ideas with Paul vanMeter and Liz Maillie of Viaduct Greene, the non-profit dedicated to creating a new public park on the structure. Follow us after the jump for photos and more.

Julia Boyer
EnlargeHigh Line Umbrella Sale!

Get a discounted rate off our limited-edition High Line Opening Season Umbrella!


Dear Friends,

2009 has been a remarkable year for the High Line. After spending the spring working on the final stages of construction, we opened the first section of the park in June. Since then, we estimate that nearly 2 million people have visited. We hope you were among these first visitors to the High Line, and that you return again and again in 2010.

The High Line's first year as a public park has been truly amazing. We've pulled together some of our favorite pictures from this incredible, historic year. We hope you enjoy them!

We hope you'll continue to support the High Line as we prepare for 2010.

Many thanks, and happy New Year,



Park visitors stroll and relax on the Diller von Furstenberg Sundeck between 14th and 15th Streets. The Sundeck is one of the High Line's most popular gathering spots, especially for sunbathers on bright summer days, and as a place to watch the sunset. Photo by Iwan Baan

"...The High Line is a hit, and not just with tourists but with New Yorkers who are openly relishing a place where they can reflect and relax enough to get a new perspective on Manhattan."
– Diane Cardwell, For High Line Visitors, Park is a Railway Out of Manhattan, New York Times


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