As the city's population grew, congestion caused by a mix of pedestrians, motorized traffic, and street-level freight trains slowed food delivery into New York City. Photo courtesy of the Kalmbach Publishing Company
This special blog post, the first in a two-part series (see part two), was written by Sonya Kharas of the NYU Food Studies Program and Nutshell Projects. If you’d like to learn more about the rich history of food and the High Line, purchase tickets for Sonya’s walking tour, Feeding the Future, which will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.
Last fall, Friends of the High Line announced plans to open a year-round, full-service restaurant directly below the elevated railway’s southern terminus, at Gansevoort and Washington Streets. The restaurant, to be operated by the team behind Torrisi Italian Specialties and Parm, will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and, as it turns out, provide a perfect starting point to consider the historic role that the High Line has played in feeding New York City.
A Historic Marketplace
Decades ago, the site of the High Line’s forthcoming restaurant was home to one of the city’s most important municipal markets: the open-air Farmers’ Market, later Gansevoort Market, for regional produce. Established in 1879, the market was devoted almost entirely to the sale of fruits and vegetables, the majority of which arrived by horse-drawn wagon from nearby farms in Long Island, Staten Island, New Jersey, and Westchester.