Stand on the High Line near its southern end, and look to the west toward the Hudson River. You will see a giant construction site covered with steel beams, plywood, backhoes, and other heavy duty equipment. It is all part of the ongoing work to build the new High Line Headquarters and Whitney Museum of American Art.
Follow us after the jump for a construction update and photos.
You may not realize it at a glance, but much has happened on the job site since our last update in November.
Crews recently finished driving more than 50 steel piles into the ground to the support the new High Line Headquarters. You may have seen this work in action if you have visited the High Line in recent weeks. The crews use a giant rig to raise a heavy weight above a pile, and then they release the weight, letting it fall down along a guide onto the top of the pile. The process repeats itself over and over, as the pile is slowly driven into the ground.
Construction crews are now working to build the plywood forms and installing steel rebar for the concrete pile caps and grade beams that will distribute the load of the building across the steel piles below ground.
Others are working to connect the utility services along Washington Street to an underground vault that will provide electricity to the new building. Most of this work takes place below ground, so there won’t be much to see over the next few weeks. The next big visual milestone will be the arrival and installation of the building’s steel frame in the early spring.
Meanwhile back in the office, we are busily working to design new temporary signage for the construction fencing. The City requires that we install temporary construction scaffolding along the path near the southern end of the park to protect High Line visitors as crews work to erect the building’s frame and complete construction. We are taking advantage of the temporary surface and installing a map, historic information about the High Line, and information about the design and construction of the High Line Headquarters. Stay tuned for a sneak peak at the signage design.