2011: The Year in Photos

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

We began 2011 with one snowstorm after another. Friends of the High Line staff members worked diligently to clear the pathways, making the park safe for visitors to enjoy the winter landscape. Photo by Marcin Wichary. WATCH A VIDEO.
 
The plants are left in their natural state in the winter, rather than trimmed back at the onset of cold. The absence of foliage reveals beautiful shapes and textures not visible during other seasons. Photo by Cristina Macaya. READ MORE.
 

“New York is a city in which good things rarely happen easily and where good designs are often compromised, if they are built at all. The High Line is a happy exception, that rare New York situation in which a wonderful idea was not only realized but turned out better than anyone had imagined.”

Paul Goldberger, “New York’s High Line”
National Geographic
April, 2011

This year, we held our first-ever High Line Snow Sculpt-Off. VIEW MORE PHOTOS & VIDEO.
 
When the snow melted away, we began High Line Green-Up, the tremendous task of cutting back the plants to prepare for the new growing season. High Line Green-Up is supported by REI. Photo by Friends of the High Line.
 
Before the new section of the High Line opened in June, there were 50,000 plants to cut back. Now there are more than 100,000 plants on the High Line. Photo by Friends of the High Line. WATCH A VIDEO.
 
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe helped us prepare the park’s planting beds for new spring growth. Photo by Jen Maler.
 
In March, we hosted a High Line Food Open House at Hudson Guild, a community center in Chelsea, where neighbors gathered to give input on what food and beverage concessions should be at the High Line in the summer. Photo by Joan Garvin. READ COMMENTS.
 
Space Available, a new art installation by Kim Beck, debuted in March with the support of our High Line Art funders. The three rooftop sculptures resemble the framework behind advertising billboards. Photo by Bill Orcutt. WATCH A VIDEO.
 
The Karma Chain brought Salman Rushdie and 300 people together on a warm spring day in April to pass along a sutra during a game of telephone at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature at the High Line. Photo by Yana Paskova.
 
Designed by Cas Holman, the Children’s Workyard Kit is a new, mobile kit of interactive tools and materials that let kids design their own course of play. It made its debut in May, thanks to our High Line Kids funders. Photo by Joan Garvin.
 
June saw the arrival of the yellow foxtail lilies (Eremurus stenophyllus), one of the favorite blooms on the High Line in the late spring. Photo by Juan Valentin.
 

“Richly detailed and alive, with picturesque vistas, the High Line stretches one’s gaze — out to city or riverscape and back to blooms or butterfly, over and over.”

Diane Ackerman, “Emerald Cities”
The New York Times
August 15, 2011



June also marked the opening of the new section of the High Line, doubling the length of the park. Photos by Iwan Baan.
 
We were joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and supporters for a ribbon-cutting on the 23rd Street Lawn. Photo by Barry Munger.
 

“What started out as a community-based campaign to convert an eyesore into an asset evolved into one of the most successful economic-development projects of [ Mayor Bloomberg’s ] nine years in office. The co-founders of Friends of the High Line, a group that operates the city-owned park, said the mayor and his staff deserved credit for having embraced the park and rezoned the neighborhoods it passes through to help it flourish.”

Patrick McGeehan, “The High Line Isn’t Just a Sight to See; It’s Also an Economic Dynamo”
The New York Times
June 5, 2011



After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, crews removed the metal chain-link fence separating Sections 1 and 2, and the new section of the High Line was open to the public. Photo by Patty Heffley.
 
Friends of the High Line Co-Founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond greeted the very first visitors, who were eager to see the new section of the High Line after months of anticipation. Photo by Barry Munger.
 
The High Line’s new section provided a new kind of urban experience, carrying visitors in close proximity to historic buildings and warehouses, and introducing unique views of the cityscape. Screenshot from Architect Magazine. WATCH A VIDEO.
 

“Rarely do additions to works of architecture or engineering by the same designers who created the originals attract as much comment as the initial installments…. Happily, the same elated reaction that greeted the first segment occurred again this summer, as the newly completed middle portion of the High Line revealed that rather than being simply more of the same, the park is evolving into a much more varied experience than many had anticipated.”

Martin Filler, “Eyes Above the Street: The High Line Line’s Second Installment”
New York Review of Books
August 25, 2011

The High Line’s new section includes a debut of Sarah Sze’s public art installation for High Line Art. Installed near West 22nd Street, the artwork flanks the park’s pathway, and offers feeding spots and perches for birds and butterflies. Photo by Iwan Baan.
 
As part of our opening celebrations, the Trisha Brown Dance Company performed on rooftops near the southern end of the park for High Line Art, recreating a dance originally performed in SoHo in 1971. Photo by Kevin Vast.
 
More than 2,000 people came to watch Step to the High Line, a competition for local teen step teams during the opening season of the High Line’s new section. Photo by Josiah Lau. WATCH A VIDEO.
 
Thanks to the Related Companies and Abington Properties, we turned a parking lot into a temporary public plaza to celebrate the High Line’s new section. AOL presented Rainbow City, an interactive art installation, to inaugurate it. Photo by Barry Munger.
 
Directly below the northernmost point of the High Line’s new section, visitors discovered The Lot on Tap, a new, temporary outdoor beer and wine bar presented in partnership with Colicchio & Sons. Photo by Juan Valentin.
 
Directly below the northernmost point of the High Line’s new section, The Lot on Tap featured a rotating series of food trucks, serving some of New York City’s best street food and drink. Photo by Juan Valentin.
 

“Colicchio & Sons and Friends of the High Line are running an admirably minimalist outdoor bar... And so, without much fuss, a fine summer pleasure is born. The vibe is appropriately ad hoc and stripped down, like a low-rent carnival minus all those distracting rides.”

Steven Stern, “The Lot on Tap”
The New York Times
August 2, 2011

The Lot on Tap was home to many free public performances for visitors, including a mini-concert by comedian Stephen Colbert and musician Jack White. Photo by Joan Garvin.
 
Back up on the High Line, we introduced six new concessionaires as part of High Line Food, a program that brings affordable, innovative, and locally-sourced food and beverage to the High Line. Photo by Iwan Baan.
 
People’s Pops, the Brooklyn-based popsicle company, was one of the new food concessionaires operating at the park this year as part of High Line Food. They will be back again in 2012. Photo by Kat Pesigan.
 
The Green Table helped us open The Porch, a new, open-air wine and beer bar serving small plates. With sweeping views of the Hudson River, The Porch quickly became a favorite gathering spot for visitors and locals. Photo by Laurie Rhodes.
 
Thanks to Toyota, we brought back the High Line Field Station, an info booth staffed by volunteer greeters supported by REI, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Photo by Kiersten Chou.
 
In the High Line’s first section, the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck continues to be a popular gathering spot, where visitors take in the sun and dip their toes in a thin layer of water that skims the park’s pathway. Photo by Iwan Baan.
 

“The best public spaces encourage diverse urban experiences, from people watching to protesting, daydreaming to handball, eating, reading and sunbathing to strolling and snoozing. Witness the High Line. The park opened a couple of years ago on the West Side with no special program of cultural offerings or other headline attractions to lure people. The attraction was, and remains, the place itself. Its success shows how much can be achieved, economically and architecturally, when city government and private interests make the public realm, on a grand scale, their shared interest.”

Michael Kimmelman, “Treasuring Urban Oases”
The New York Times
December 2, 2011

The water feature has become a popular play feature. Kids can splash and walk barefoot as their caretakers sit nearby on the chaise lounge chairs and “peel-up” benches. Photo by Cristina Macaya.
 
In the new section of the High Line, the 23rd Street Lawn is the favorite new gathering spot for picnicking, sunbathing, and watching people stroll the High Line and the street below. Photo by Iwan Baan.
 
The 23rd Street Lawn is the busiest lawn in the city per square foot which requires extra care and maintenance. The Lawn is temporarily closed at times during the busy season and following periods of heavy rainfall to allow the grass to recover. Photo by Tim Schenck.
 
In July, we opened the High Line Rink – Made for All by UNIQLO, a new, outdoor roller-skating venue with music, skating lessons, and more at The Lot. Photos (left to right) by Michael Moran and Liz Ligon.
 
We invited kids from Hudson Guild, a community center in Chelsea, to take an inaugural first skate with us around the High Line Rink. During this summer, over 15,000 people joined us to skate. Photo by Liz Ligon.
 
Creating engaging opportunities for kids is a top priority for us. This year, with support from our High Line Schools funders, we expanded our field trip program to allow more students to visit the High Line. Photo by Friends of the High Line.
 
At Wild Wednesdays, a free, weekly drop-in High Line Kids program, students watched caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies, and then released them into the park’s planting beds. Photo by Daniella Zalcman.
 
Kylah Bruno, a graduate of the 2010 High Line Youth Corps, helped lead play and learning activities during Wild Wednesdays and other youth programs this summer. Photos by Friends of the High Line.
 
Jhoel Peguero, Stephanie Morales, and Neftaly Garcia were members of this year’s Youth Corps, also supported by our High Line Schools and Kids funders. They helped care for the park, set up public events, and much more. Photo by Friends of the High Line.
 
We asked neighbors what kind of public events they would want to attend on the High Line, and salsa nights were a top choice. This August, we held weekly evenings of Latin music and dancing at sunset on the High Line. Photo by Liz Ligon.
 
The High Line continues to be a favorite spot for photographers to capture new views of the cityscape. This photograph was taken by Brian D. Bumby, one of the more than 1,500 contributors to the High Line Flickr Pool.
 
Charlie Rose welcomed Co-Founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond, director of the New York City Department of City Planning, Amanda Burden, and Diane von Furstenberg to talk about the past, present, and future of the High Line. Screenshot from Charlie Rose.
 

“None of us ever thought it could happen, but we wanted to believe it could happen, and we dreamt it, but now it exists… And it is just the most beautiful thing.”

Diane von Furstenberg
The Charlie Rose Show
November 17, 2011


Fashion Week came to the High Line in September, with male models sporting Tommy Hilfiger’s spring 2012 collection on a runway in the Chelsea Market Passage. Special events help fund the High Line’s maintenance and operations. Photo by Tommy Hilfiger.
 
With support from UNIQLO, the Trains on Film Series played off the High Line’s rail history, debuting All Aboard! and featuring free revival screenings of Some Like It Hot and Strangers on a Train during the fall. Photo by Claudio Papapietro.
 
Thanks to our Rail Yards funders, we hosted a series of free public talks in September and October about the past, present, and future of the third and final section of the High Line. Photo by Liz Ligon. WATCH THE VIDEOS.
 
We published High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky, the first comprehensive book about the High Line, with a candid narrative written by Co-Founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond. Photo by Patrick McMullan.
 

“This lushly illustrated volume showcases the range of imaginative designs they explored and, in some cases, rejected. In recounting their decade-long experiment, they provide an inspiring primer for grass-roots urban planning.”

“400 Years of Artifacts Enrich a Book"
The New York Times
October 21, 2011

Next to the High Line’s southernmost point, site preparation work began in the fall for High Line Headquarters, a new building that will provide critical space for the High Line’s maintenance and operations. Photo by Friends of the High Line.
 
We held the first-ever Social Soup Experiment in October. What happens when total strangers gather for communal meal in a restaurant without walls on the High Line? LEARN MORE.
 
In October, the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation announced a historic $20 million gift which will support the transformation of the High Line at the rail yards and help build an endowment for long-term maintenance and operations. Photo by Barry Munger.
 
As part of High Line Schools, we partnered with puppet master Ralph Lee on art workshops at PS 3, 11, and 33. Students created a train made of found materials, and paraded it on the High Line. Photos by Friends of the High Line. VIEW PHOTOS.
 
In November, Tyler Ashley and the SARAHS explored Russian Constructivism through the lens of a Jane Fonda workout video during Half-Mythical, Half-Legendary Americanism, a dance performance presented in partnership with Performa. Photo by Liz Ligon. VIEW PHOTOS.
 
In the fall, we visited the Reading Viaduct, an elevated freight rail line in Philadelphia that some want to turn into public open space. Photo by Rick Darke. VIEW PHOTOS.
 

“Cities around the country, including Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis, are working up plans to renovate their aging railroad trestles, tracks and railways for parkland. Cities with little public space are realizing they badly need more parks, and the High Line has taught that renovating an old railway can be the spark that helps improve a neighborhood and attract development.”

“Cities See The Other Side Of The Tracks”
The New York Times
August 2, 2011

In November, we launched HIGH LINE CHANNEL, a new High Line Art program for video art at West 22nd Street. Gordon Matta-Clark’s City Slivers is the first film to play, and will be on view until Tuesday, January 24. Photo by Austin Kennedy.
 
Red Sprite winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’) blooming in the Gansevoort Woodland in the late fall. Photo by Juan Valentin.
 
Earlier this month, John Baldessari installed a giant reproduction of a $100,000 bill on HIGH LINE BILLBOARD, a new series made possible by our High Line Art funders, with in-kind support from Edison Properties. Photo by Austin Kennedy. Courtesy the Artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
 

“As for what The First $100,000 I Ever Made means: Take your guess. Maybe it’s an object to lust after. Maybe it’s just a photo op. Or maybe it’s the best commentary on the global financial crisis since this side of a Paul Krugman column.”

Suzanne LaBarre, “Sign of the Times”
Fast Co Design

Earlier this month, with support from our Rail Yards funders, we held a community input meeting at PS 11 to gather neighbors’ ideas for the design of the final section of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards. Photo by Yoon Kim.
 

"Ever since various dreamers on the West Side of Manhattan began to envision it, the High Line has signified New York’s future: a glimpse of where the metropolis might go if people dreamed, and schemed, hard enough."

Jeff Gordiner, “Walking On Air”
The New York Times
August 26, 2011

The High Line at the rail yards took a major step forward this fall, when all stakeholders involved at the development site agreed, in principle, to preserve the historic freight rail line and open it to the public. We look forward to more positive news about the final section of the High Line in 2012. Photo by Iwan Baan.
 

“High Line II is a grand achievement, but -- more than Part I did -- feels as if it's trying to get somewhere that it can't quite reach… The blocks between 20th and 23rd streets and north of 27th Street, for all their magnificent landscaping and detailing, feel transitional, a fact the design features can't hide. Until you reach the curve. Suddenly, you sense a great and wonderful surprise lies just around the corner. But instead comes the premature dead end. Instead of feeling elated, you feel the way you did after the last episode of ‘The Sopranos.’ The High Line Park deserves a proper conclusion. Bring it on!”

Steve Cuozzo, “It’s a Rail Shame If This Is the End of the Line"
New York Post
June 8, 2011

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