Video: Black-Out on the High Line

What is going on in this video?

You might think the light show is part of a public art installation or ambiance for a dance party, but this is what it looks like in the moments before a black-out on the High Line.

Managing one mile of park built on an elevated freight rail line presents unique operational challenges. Like any building in the city, the High Line has millions of dollars worth of mechanical systems – lighting and electrical infrastructure, plumbing and irrigation, and more – and it’s all connected to the city’s utility lines. When the power supply is cut nearby, it can affect the lighting system at the High Line.

Last week, about an hour before the High Line was scheduled to close for the evening, the lighting along the pathway mysteriously began to flicker, and eventually went out.

We contacted Con Edison for assistance, and learned that a project at street-level several blocks from the High Line had caused an interruption to the electricity flow to the park, which resulted in a temporary black-out. The Con Ed team advised that the power connection would be restored by morning.

As the video shows, visitors were treated to a mysterious light show as the power to the High Line’s lights waned before finally going out completely. Visitors were intrigued, taking photos and videos and believing the flickering lights as were a new way of experiencing the High Line.

As soon as the problem started, Friends of the High Line staff began troubleshooting the issue in the park’s underground vaults, and preparing for the park to close in the interest of public safety. We worked collaboratively with the Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to clear the park, starting in the northern section where the problem began, and working south toward Gansevoort Street.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during unexpected technical glitches. During these circumstances, we work as quickly as possible to make sure that the park is safe and accessible to the public.

Visit the High Line’s Web site or follow @highlinenyc on Twitter for updates on park operations.

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