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Erika Harvey
year in photos

Dear Friends,

Thank you for helping us make 2011 an incredible year for the High Line.

This year saw two major milestones for the High Line: the opening of the High Line from West 20th Street to West 30th Street, doubling the length of the park, and an agreement to preserve the third and final section of High Line at the rail yards, including the spur.

But so much more happened on the High Line in 2011: a post-snowstorm Snow Sculpt-Off, a Salman Rushdie Karma Chain, rooftop dance performances, 50,000 new plants, four competing teen step teams, mushroom-shaped bouncy houses, a temporary public plaza below the High Line, 15,000 roller skaters, avocado popsicles, a working water feature, kids releasing butterflies and earthworms, salsa dancing at sunset, a historic $20 million gift for the rail yards and the endowment, our first comprehensive book on the High Line, and a larger-than-life $100,000 bill art installation.

We've compiled some of our favorite images, video, and stories from this incredible year. We hope you enjoy them!

Best wishes for the new year.

              robert & josh signature

               Joshua David                                  Robert Hammond
               Co-Founder                                      Co-Founder

Michelle Sharkey

Today, a new accolade! For the first time, an article about the High Line made it to the "most-emailed" list on the New York Times web site.

The article, called "The High Line: A Railway Out of Manhattan", captures the special atmosphere up on the line – "almost a small town in the air... It even inspires crusty New Yorkers to behave as if they were strolling down Main Street."

As a park visitor explained in the article: "Here people tend to be more friendly...Those same people, you might see them someplace else and, you know," she broke off, raising her eyebrows, "they're kind of stressed."

Left, National Geographic magazine; Right, Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Some of you may have seen this story in last Friday's Real Estate section of the Times. While the High Line park will begin at Gansevoort and Washington, few people know that the High Line originally went as far south as St. John's Park Terminal, which covered four riverfront blocks between Clarkson and Spring Streets. (It's now a UPS warehouse.) In the 1960's, the High Line below Gansevoort was demolished, with the exception of the little section of rail running through the Westbeth complex, on Washington between Bank and Bethune.


For the very first time that we are aware of, the High Line was featured in a New York Times Editorial. In it, America's paper of record challenges the City and Tishman Speyer to seize the opportunity provided by the development rights to the West Side Rail Yards and to do the right thing and "preserve all of the High Line, the 1.5-mile stretch of elevated railway that is being transformed into a green jewel of public space."

There was considerable pride and a few tears as we read this unprecedented shout-out by the Times.

Read the editorial  on the Times site, or after the jump.

The development process for the West Side Rail Yards could be on the verge of an important milestone, which comes as a surprise to many who assumed this process would be slowed in the wake of economic uncertainty and the recent shakeup in state government.

The Times reports today that financial giant Morgan Stanley has backed away from its deal with Rail Yards bidder Tishman Speyer (bid here).

Brookfield Properties has announced they have not submitted a second bid for the Rail Yards site. Supplementary bids were due yesterday.

Back in January, the MTA asked the five developers to submit supplementary materials supporting their ability to lease, not buy, the 26-acre site. None of this financial information was made public.

Charles Bagli writes in the Times today that Governor Spitzer's decision to curtail Javits expansion and sell off two adjacent parcels of land is raising some hackles among others in the West Side Development arena. Among the opponents are Senator Schumer and Speaker Quinn. One of the parcels is the 33/34 block, just north of the Western Rail Yards, where the High Line comes down to grade.


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