Construction Update: High Line Headquarters

Construction crews are installing the steel beams and columns that will make up the building frame of the new High Line Headquarters. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Visit the southern end of the High Line, and you will see a dramatic transformation in progress next to the park. Construction is underway on the new High Line Headquarters and Whitney Museum of American Art. Last week, the first delivery of steel I-beams and columns arrived on the job site, and crews began erecting the frame of what will be the future home of maintenance and operations for the High Line.

Follow us after the jump for a construction update and a photo tour of the site.

Steel beams on the site of the future High Line Headquarters. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Crews have made major progress since our last update in February.

A few weeks ago, the construction workers completed the foundation work and began laying out a framework of steel rebar to support the first floor structural slab. Then, using a special crane, crews worked from west to east to pump concrete into the site. On the day of the pour, nine concrete trucks lined Washington Street just below the High Line to ensure that the work was seamlessly carried out. Once complete, workers troweled the concrete by hand to level the floor.

The crews have also moved forward with installation of the building’s steel frame. The arrival of steel is a big milestone in any construction project – this is the moment where you see the building structure beginning to take shape. At the High Line, the tight site constraints meant that crews had to unload steel directly into the building’s footprint. Columns and beams were then lifted into place and fastened to one another with large anchor bolts. The process began last week and moved quickly; by now the steel is in place for the majority of the building.


Another big change you will see at the job site is the installation of construction fencing on the High Line itself. The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) requires the fencing to protect High Line visitors as construction continues on the building’s frame and facade. We saw the construction fence as a great opportunity for temporary signage, so we worked with our graphic design team at OCD to create an illustrative map, a historical timeline, a seasonal calendar of free events and public programs at the park, and information about the design and construction of the High Line Headquarters. The fence also includes temporary signage educating visitors about the construction of the new Whitney Museum of American Art.

The next big milestone of the project is the arrival of the large roof girder. We can’t wait to see the girder set in place. This monumental piece of steel measures 100 feet long and 4 feet high, and it will travel by truck from Pennsylvania in the next couple of weeks. The girder is one of the signature design elements of the High Line Headquarters, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners.

Check out the photos below by Timothy Schenck, and stay tuned for another update soon.

View looking west. Using a giant crane, crews begin pouring concrete on what will be the first floor slab of the High Line Headquarters, the new maintenance and operations hub for Friends of the High Line. Photo by Timothy Schenck
View from a nearby rooftop. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Once the concrete is set — in approximately one to two hours, depending on weather conditions — construction crews begin to trowel the concrete until it has a smooth and level finish. The work is completed by hand (shown in foreground) or by using a gas-powered leveler to spread the concrete (shown in the background). Photo by Timothy Schenck
View looking south. It takes a team to ensure that concrete is evenly poured over the grid of steel rebar. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Pouring concrete. Photo by Timothy Schenck
A delivery of steel is unloaded directly onto the job site. Each piece of steel is numbered – for example, “2512” is the job number and “124B1” corresponds to a particular location on the job where the beam or column will be installed. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Columns are installed first. Crews first lift it in the air and then guide it to its location. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Within 30 minutes, crews have installed four columns that will support a portion of the first and second floors of the High Line Headquarters. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Once columns are installed, beams are set into place. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Working 15 feet in the air, specially-trained steel erectors anchor together columns and beams. Photo by Timothy Schenck
A view looking west from the Gansevoort Stair.
A view looking southwest. Steel erection is complete for the first two floors of the building, and you can start to see the building’s structure.
The NYC Department of Buildings requires a temporary construction fence to be installed on the High Line while construction is underway on the High Line Headquarters. Photo by Timothy Schenck
The construction fencing features temporary signage designed by the design firm OCD that features information about the High Line's history, design, and free public events. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Part of the signage features a timeline with pictures outlining the High Line's history. Photo by Timothy Schenck
The temporary signage is a big hit with visitors. Photo by Timothy Schenck
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