Before it was transformed into a public park, the High Line carried freight trains to and from the warehouses and factories along Manhattan’s West Side. Today, the High Line serves as a tool to teach kids about the city’s industrial history.
Halloween Hi-Jinks on the High Line is one of several educational initiatives to strengthen our partnerships with the neighborhood public schools, and teach kids about the High Line through fun, interactive, hands-on activities.
: New York City News Service
covered the event. Check out their news video.
We would like to thank the following organizations for supporting our partnerships with local public schools: the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, with additional support from the Altman Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; The Concordia Foundation; The Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Follow us after the jump for a photo tour of the project.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, we led interactive arts
workshops with local puppet master Ralph Lee at three public
schools near the park. Photo by Deborah Suchman Zeolla.
Ralph Lee is a puppet master who has worked with the High
Line two years in a row to construct unique Halloween
creations in cooperation with local schools.
Photo by Deborah Suchman Zeolla.
Photo by Deborah Suchman Zeolla.
Each public school was tasked with creating a giant freight train car that would later be brought to the High Line on Halloween. Photo by Deborah Suchman Zeolla.
Pictured here is the freight train’s caboose.
The High Line was originally built to lift dangerous freight trains off of 10th Avenue, which was called “Death Avenue” because of multiple street-level train accidents. After hearing this story, the students decided to decorate their freight train cars with spooky skeletons representing the ghosts of the past.
Many of the students wanted to personalize their skeletons. We like this one, which looks to be inspired by Lady Gaga.
After weeks of preparation, the students brought their respective
freight train cars together for the very first time on the High
Line on Friday, October 28, 2011. Ralph helped the students
with the finishing touches.
The giant freight train led a parade procession on the High
Line, from the 14th Street Passage to the 10th Avenue Square.
Students were proud to carry their creations which were made with a mixture of found and recycled materials.
Teachers, parents, and nearly 100 students from P.S. 3, P.S. 11, and P.S. 33. participated in the parade. Photo by Deborah Suchman Zeolla.
The parade wound its way through the park, here on the lower level of the Diller - von Furstenberg Sundeck.
In keeping with the sustainable theme of the art workshops,
some students wore re-purposed sweatshirts decorated with
painted skeleton bones and waved streamers crafted from
The parade, led by the freight train car, made its way to the
10th Avenue Square.
The students’ freight train car was set on display during a school assembly just above 10th Avenue, where dangerous freight trains once ran at street-level. During the assembly, the students sang songs with train themes, like “I’ve Been Working on the Rail Road.”
Then others performed a puppet dance on the High Line under The Standard, New York. Photo by Deborah Suchman Zeolla.
The finished product: a three-car freight train made by students at P.S. 3, P.S. 11, and P.S. 33 with Friends of the High Line and local puppet master Ralph Lee.
A view of the students’ freight train from 10th Avenue.