New Design Concept for the Spur

A lot of people assume the High Line is done, but there is one more section to build. Though we have completed our original vision of extending the park from Gansevoort Street all the way to 34th Street, we always planned to also complete an offshoot of the High Line known as the Spur. Extending east on 30th Street and terminating above the intersection of 30th Street and 10th Avenue, this block-long section was originally built to support freight rail service directly to the United States Postal Service Morgan Processing and Distribution Center.

There have been several design concepts floated for this site. At one time, along with our design team of James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, we considered a potential art installation conceived by Jeff Koons called Train, which would have featured a full-size replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive suspended from a crane above the Spur. We also considered a design resembling an immersive bowl-shaped structure rimmed with dense woodlands, meant to offer an immersive experience of nature in the heart of New York City. But concerns about cost and scale forced us back to the drawing board. At that point, we looked for inspiration in the "less is more" approach of the Interim Walkway in the Western Rail Yards. We decided that, instead of a massive intervention, we wanted to design something that would focus on what people love most about the High Line and what Friends of the High Line does best: horticulture, programming, and public art.

Since the High Line is currently at capacity for public programming, the nearly 10,000 square feet of space on the Spur – the largest single open space on the High Line – provides a great opportunity to expand our free public programming, like our Teens Art Council program and ¡Arriba! Latin dance parties, which have overgrown their current location in the 14th Street Passage. In addition, as the High Line Art program continues to grow, the Spur will provide more room to install ambitious artworks curated by our public art program. The Spur will also provide much-needed storage space for park operations, maintenance, and horticulture, as well as additional public restrooms – meeting a need voiced by our park visitors.

Construction on the Spur is likely to begin as early as 2017.

We're very excited to be able to now show you renderings of the design concept here.

The Spur is located on 30th Street close to 10th Avenue (see circled area in red). As noted, the piazza of the Spur will allow unprecedented views east, west, north, and south.

In the current design, the 30th Street Passage passes under the first building in Hudson Yards, and, at 30 feet wide by 60 feet tall, has a dramatic cathedral-like scale.

Three balconies cantilever off the southern side of the High Line, offering views east and west along 30th Street and up the side of the building to the sky.

The path from the Passage to the Spur will cut through two enormous tilted planters. These planters rise to the east, allowing enough space for public bathrooms and storage beneath, as well as substantial soil depths to support large trees not found elsewhere on the High Line. The combined impact is a thick and lush tree canopy that creates a natural green threshold into the Spur.

Conceived as a new take on the public piazza, this open space hovers 30 feet above a major Manhattan intersection and will include built-in lounge seating, movable tables and chairs, and open space for Friends of the High Line's free programming and public art. Visitors to the Spur will be able to look to the north and south along 10th Avenue, west to the Hudson River, and east into the heart of New York City.

Image credits: Map, Google Maps, courtesy of Friends of the High Line; Renderings, James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York

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