Throwback Thursday: 10th Avenue Square

A recent photo of the 10th Avenue Square. Photo by Liz Ligon

The 10th Avenue Square is one of the High Line's most beloved design features and is a favorite spot for lunch goers, sun bathers, people watchers, BFFs catching up, and even the occasional musical performance or wedding.

The design of the 10th Avenue Square may seem simple – wooden seating steps with windows that allow visitors to look out over the avenue. But there's more to this incredible feature.

This view looking south along 10th Avenue shows the intersection of 17th Street where the High Line crosses the avenue. Photo by Darius Aidala

A view looking north along the 10th Avenue Square area in the early 2000s before construction began. Photo by Michael Syracuse

This photo from 2006 shows the 10th Avenue Square just as site preparation began. The first steps to prepare the site included removing the tracks, plants, and gravel ballast atop the High Line, and sandblasting and painting the steel railings. Photo by Friends of the High Line

For contrast, this view from today shows the High Line since it's opened to the public. Photo by Iwan Baan

The 10th Avenue Square is formed by the High Line's dramatic crossing over 10th Avenue. When originally constructed, large, oversized steel girders were required to allow the structure to span over 10th Avenue. Given the depth of the steel girders, the architects proposed to cut down into the High Line deck and create an amphitheater. Openings were made in the steel webbing to create cutout windows with a view up Tenth Avenue. See below for more photos from the construction process.

This photo shows the 10th Avenue Square after the rails, plants, and gravel ballast were removed. What remains are the High Line's original steel girders. In order to create the sunken amphitheater space, construction workers removed some of the steel girders. Photo by Friends the High Line

This photo shows the space once the steel girders were removed; the next step for the construction crews would be to install the seating steps and cut out the windows that overlook 10th Avenue. Photo by Friends of the High Line

LEFT: Construction workers cut into the High Line's steel structure to create openings for the windows. RIGHT: With openings cut, the High Line is ready for the installation of windows. Photos by Barry Munger

This architectural drawing shows a cross section of the 10th Avenue Square, which illustrates how the amphitheater descends into the High Line's original steel structure. James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York

Want to learn more about all the design features you can see on the High Line? Go to our Visit page.

Recent Posts
Plant of the Week: Sea Lavender
view post
Open Encounter: A Conversation with Brendan Fernandes
view post