Friends of the High Line Co-founders Joshua David (left) and Robert Hammond (right) on the Rail Yards section of the High Line in 2001. Photo by Joel Sternfeld, courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York
On this day 15 years ago, an article on the High Line ran in the New York Times. In it, a new idea was proposed for the elevated rail, which was slated for demolition at the time. CSX Transportation Inc., which had just acquired the derelict railway, hoped that it might be converted into public space via the federal “Rail to Trails” program.
In what would be a turning point for the historic structure, two men who didn’t know one another at the time – Joshua David and Robert Hammond – read the article and felt moved to change the High Line’s fate. In a sense, today marks the true 15th birthday of Friends of the High Line.