It's award season for Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission -- and one of the High Line's earliest, most passionate champions. Earlier in February, we saw her glide up to the podium to accept a New York City Cititzens Committee award, presented by Charlie Rose (right photo, and check out New York Social Diary's coverage). And last week, at at Travel + Leisure's Design Awards 2008, Nancy Novogrod (T+L editor-in-chief and High Line supporter) presented Amanda with the mag's Design Champion award. T+L ran a full-page photo (above, left) of Amanda on the High Line's spectacular rail yards section (this part of the High Line still needs some saving -- go to our Rail Yards Blog for more info.)
We're happy to see Amanda recognized for her work. Back when the Giuliani administration wanted to tear the High Line down, Amanda, then a member of the Planning Commission, testified personally about the need to save the structure at our first City Council hearing. Then, when Mayor Bloomberg appointed her as Chair of the Planning Commission, Amanda oversaw the rezoning of West Chelsea, which included many provisions that made the High Line's preservation and transformation possible.