High Line Blog

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Author: 
Sanaya Kaufman

Curbed.com is running it's annual Curbed Cup and this year they are focusing on the year's most newsworthy microneighborhoods. The High Line District made the 1st round -- and we're up against Hudson Square near Soho (?).

Author: 
Anonymous
Enlarge

While the High Line itself is rich with its own unique and storied history, it is also part of the larger historical context of the city it has called home for over a century. In this recurring series, we hope to rediscover the High Line by taking a look at some of the important historical locations in the surrounding area.

Built between 1880 and 1900, The Westbeth Artists Community is located at 463 West Street. From 1898 to 1966 it functioned as a laboratory for the Bell Telephone company, when it served as America's largest industrial research lab. Many major technological inventions and innovations in the field of telecommunications trace its origins to the lab, including the first experimental talking movie, radar, the first phonograph record, and black and white and color television, an invention of particular significance for fans of such fine modern television programming as The Jerry Springer Show and Baywatch. The site was even home to part of the Manhattan Project during World War II.

Author: 
Patrick Hazari
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At the corner of Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, the High Line's southern terminus marks one of the parks major access points and gathering spaces. This corner is also the future location of the Whitney Museum of American Art. A paved, street-level public plaza will act as a meeting and orientation point for visitors to learn more about the High Line and will also house a small concessions area. An opening cut into the structure of the High Line allows for a steel and aluminum stair, supported by a stainless-steel rod hanger system, to gently touch the plaza level. The stair invites visitors to ascend from the busy street below to the elevated landscape on the High Line. While on the stairs, visitors pass between existing six-foot high beams, giving one a better understanding of the High Line's robust structure.

A few weeks ago, the High Line's signature "slow stairs" were delivered and installed. See a few of the images below after the break:

Author: 
Sanaya Kaufman
Photo by Glen Wilson.

Friends of the High Line Board Member Edward Norton has pledged to match every gift made in December, up to $100,000, with a gift to support the construction of the High Line. 

Make a year-end donation to Friends of the High Line and your money will work twice as hard for the High Line!

Author: 
Anonymous

The 1930's Federal Writers Project WPA Guide to New York City, which I love, has a great description of the Hudson waterfront during the time the High Line was built. From the chapter "West Street and North (Hudson) River Waterfront":

"The broad highway, West Street and its continuations, which skirts the North River from Battery Place to Fifty-ninth Street, is, during the day, a surging mass of back-firing, horn-blowing, gear-grinding trucks and taxis. All other water-front sounds are submerged in the cacophony of the daily avalanche of freight and passengers in transit. Ships and shipping are not visible along much of West Street. South of Twenty-third Street, the river is walled by an almost unbroken line of bulkhead sheds and dock structures. North of Twenty-third Street, an occasional open spot in the bulkhead permits a glimpse of the Hudson and the Jersey Shore beyond."


Author: 
Anonymous

The turn-out of High Line supporters for Monday's Eastern Rail Yards Public Forum was great: more than 200 people rallied at Midtown's Red Cross in favor of preserving the entire High Line, including the Spur over 10th Avenue. Supporters wore red "Save the Spur" T-shirts and held signs during a presentation by The Related Companies, the designated developer at the rail yards.

Author: 
Anonymous

High Line grasses and perennials arrived onsite at 6am this morning. Friends of the High Line Deputy Director of Horticulture Melissa Fisher is working on the installation of the plants along with the High Line construction and landscape team including: SiteWorks, Kelco Landscaping, Inc., The Plant Group, planting designer Piet Oudolf, and landscape architects Field Operations.

Author: 
Patrick Hazari
agritecture

The planks have been installed, the soil has started to arrive on site and the plants and trees are on their way. But what you might not realize is how all of this has come about. Welcome to the first installation in a series of blog posts looking specifically at the design of the High Line. Each week until the opening of Section 1 later this year, we will highlight final designs for Sections 1 and 2 of the High Line. Along with diagrams and design renderings, construction drawings and images will give you behind the scenes look at what promises to be an amazing park.

Since the release of the competition finalists in July 2004 and the selection of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro later that summer, everyone near and far has always been intrigued with the design. With its thought-provoking ideas and a funky idea called Agri-tecture, New Yorkers embraced it and called it our own. Let's revisit the winning competition entry that is now becoming a reality thanks to supporters and advocates like you.

Statement by the design team describing AGRI-TECTURE:
"By changing the rules of engagement between plant life and pedestrians, our strategy of AGRI-TECTURE combines organic and building materials into gradients of changing proportions that accommodate a variety of natural and programmatic conditions. Part agriculture / part architecture the system digitizes the High Line surface into discrete units of paving and planting that could be organized in any combination from 100% hard paving to 100% soft richly vegetated biotopes, or any gradation in between. The surface is built from individual pre-cast concrete planks with open joints to encourage emergent growth like wild grass through cracks in the sidewalk. The long, gradually tapering units are designed to comb into planting beds creating a "pathless" landscape' where the public can meander in unscripted ways."

More photos after the break

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