New Design Concept for the High Line at the Rail Yards

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Author: 
Erika Harvey
The new design concept for the High Line at the Rail Yards includes an immersive bowl-shaped structure on the Spur, a wide section of the High Line that extends over 10th Avenue at West 30th Street. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York

Tonight we unveiled the latest design concept for the Spur, a unique area within the third section of the High Line at the Rail Yards, at a public presentation at the School of Visual Arts Theatre.

Neighbors, supporters, members, and friends gathered for a presentation of renderings of the Spur by the High Line Design Team’s James Corner of James Corner Field Operations and Ric Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, as well as an update on the progress on construction and the project timeline by Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond.

Join us after the jump for the just-released renderings of the Spur.

High Line at the Rail Yards Context Map
Highlighted above in green, the rail yards section of the High Line is located due north of the portion of the High Line that has already been transformed into public open space. This section is located between West 30th and West 34th Streets to the south and north, and 10th and 12th Avenues from the east and west. Once the High Line at the Rail Yards is open to the public, the park will connect three neighborhoods along Manhattan’s West Side: the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.

Image from Google Maps. Courtesy Friends of the High Line.
High Line at the Rail Yards Context Map Detail
The High Line at the Rail Yards wraps around the West Side Rail Yards, an active train yard for Long Island Rail Road. The owner of the West Side Rail Yards, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has leased the site to the Related Companies which is planning to develop more than 12 million square feet of mixed-use real estate situated on a platform to be constructed over the active rail yard.

Image from Google Maps. Courtesy Friends of the High Line.
The Spur, aerial view looking west: a bowl-shaped structure will mark this northeast terminus of the High Line, creating an extraordinary, sheltered, and vegetated interior room that one discovers through various openings and entries. This aerial view of the Spur looks west toward the Hudson River. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York
The Spur, looking east along West 30th Street: approaching the exterior of the bowl structure from the west, at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Tiered seating along the outside perimeter of the bowl provides impressive views of the surrounding city and Hudson River. The structure also provides much-needed work space and amenities, such as public restrooms. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York
The Spur, interior of the bowl, looking west: in contrast to the surrounding urban development, the bowl structure provides a lush and otherworldly environment inspired by the dense layers of a woodland habitat, immersing visitors in nature. Bowl interior view, looking west. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York
The Spur, interior of the bowl, looking east: stepped seating lines the base of the structure, ringed with broad-leaf woodland grasses, perennials and ferns. Snakebark maple and black tupelo trees frame views to the sky and towers above. Bowl interior view in the fall, looking east. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York

The Spur is the gateway to the High Line at the Rail Yards. It extends across the intersection of 10th Avenue and West 30th Street. Decades ago, this extension, called the 10th Avenue Spur, connected with the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, allowing freight trains to carry mail and packages to and from the upper-floor loading docks of the post office building. Today, the Spur is the widest area on the High Line and occupies a strategic position in the neighborhood, where it will serve as a visual access point to Hudson Yards, and offer visitors a new and unique park experience.

The new design for the Spur will offer the public an immersive experience of nature in the heart of New York City. Visitors will enter a circular structure lined with dense woodland plantings that creates an intimate setting. The structure will also provide much-needed work space and amenities, such as public restrooms.

Friends of the High Line and the City of New York are working to open the High Line at the Rail Yards as quickly as possible, with a goal of a full public opening in late 2014. The Spur is expected open to the public one to two years after the opening of the rest of the rail yards section of the High Line. The cost of the High Line at the Rail Yards is estimated to be $76 million. Friends of the High Line has committed to raise $36 million from private philanthropic contributions as part of its Campaign for the High Line. The Bloomberg administration and New York City Council have allocated a total of $11 million in capital funding to the project. As part of the development of Hudson Yards, Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group will contribute $29.2 million toward the capital construction of the High Line at the Rail Yards, as well as additional funding for the park’s ongoing maintenance.

The Campaign for the High Line is a major fundraising effort that supports construction of the High Line at the Rail Yards and other capital projects on the High Line, as well as an endowment for the entire park’s future maintenance and operations.

Weren't able to join us? You can still share your feedback by emailing us at railyards@thehighline.org.

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