High Line Blog

highlighted mobile

Brookfield Properties has announced they have not submitted a second bid for the Rail Yards site. Supplementary bids were due yesterday.

Back in January, the MTA asked the five developers to submit supplementary materials supporting their ability to lease, not buy, the 26-acre site. None of this financial information was made public.

EnlargeThe La Reunion

I was in Dallas a few weeks ago and learned about a couple of inspiring projects.

Utopian re-conquest of  TX
I met a woman named Sarah Jane Semrad, who, along with a crew of activists, is turning a 35-acre site into an Arts Residency with the main building going up around an abandoned train trestle. The project is called La Reunion  after a utopian artists' colony that settled in Dallas in the 1850s and who brought the first piano, brewery, and cultural sensibilities to North Texas.

More La Reunion photos.

They also have a blog where you can sign up for email updates, and more on the project and its history is after the jump. 

Proved Wrong Again

A year ago I saw Joshua Price Ramos (now with REX) give a presentation about a design for a theater in Dallas he had designed while working with Rem Koolhaas at OMA.  It blew me away, but I put it in the category of "even more unlikely that the High Line" and thought it was the kind of thing that would never get built-- especially not in my home state. I love being proved wrong!

This is a shot of the diagonal supports rising out of the ground as part of the beginning of construction of the Wyly Theater.


Unlike a typical theatre setting, this unique design for the Wyly Theatre places these spaces either above or below the auditorium, enabling maximum interaction and flexibility of performance space and seating. The facility's advanced mechanized "superfly" system can pull up both scenery and seating.

Watch the design animation
Live webcam shot of the construction

The theater is part of the larger Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, a new multi-venue Center for music, opera, theater and dance that will open in 2009. Norman Foster and Spencer de Grey designed the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House that is under construction a stone's throw from the theater. Total funding total funding for the project exceeds $277 million to date with more than 100 Dallas families and corporations contributing $1 million or more.


Boston may own New York in baseball, but in regards to creative re-development of disused behemoths of the mid-20th century, they may be woefully behind Gotham. Consider Sunday's Times article describing the slow evolution of the park being built atop the Big Dig where Boston's old Southeast Expressway used to run.


Section 1 is very busy right now as the team prepares for a delivery of soil in a few weeks. I went up this morning to take stock of all the action happening on the Line right now. Here are some highlights. Click all photos to enlarge.

Tracks are being re-installed in their original locations, after being marked and stored on the Line during earlier phases of construction. Track installation is almost complete up to Little West 12th Street. Later, the areas underneath the tracks will be filled with soil, and plantings will grow up around them.

Tons more fun after the jump.

Danya Sherman
The New York Chapter of the American Society for Landscape Architects is seeking a full-time Executive Director. Applications are due February 29th and should include a one-page cover letter and resume to info@asla.org.

ohnyFHL Volunteers B.C. Roberts and Patrick Kennedy check in visitors at OHNY 2007 last October

Working with our volunteers is one of my favorite parts of my job.  Friends of the High Line has about 115 active volunteers, all of them dynamic individuals who care about the future of New York City.

Last month, we held a volunteer orientation for current and prospective volunteers at the General Theological Seminary in Chelsea.  The beginning of the year is a good time to bring everyone together for an update on where we are in the construction process, as well as give a heads-up as to what events and projects are coming down the pike in 2008.  There are lots of ways to get involved, including staffing special events, working in our office helping to get out big mailings, or serving as a volunteer docent on the High Line during openhousenewyork.  And with the High Line's opening scheduled to take place before the end of the year, there will be a huge need for volunteer support going forward.

If you're interested in becoming a Friends of the High Line volunteer, please e-mail volunteer@thehighline.org.

More photos of our awesome volunteers in action after the jump.

Unsurprisingly in the wake of the subprime crisis and general market shakiness, much of the Rail Yards dialogue has turned away from design and towards financials.

Of course, guessing is a bit tough, given the MTA's refusal to make the financial bids public (which the HYCAC called for as part of its summary of top community concerns).

Background on the financial situations of each of the developers has led to a lot of speculation over which one would be the surest bet for the MTA, an agency that knows its way around fiscal headache.

A Crain's editorial recently endorsed Related and Tishman Speyer for the site, pointing to anchor tenants to add heft to the deal:
"There are no more resourceful, experienced or financially solid real estate companies in New York. Their tenants, News Corp. for Related, and Morgan Stanley for Tishman, offer a strong likelihood the project will get off the ground."
The Crain's site is for subscribers only, but the complete editorial is after the jump.

The MTA still plans to announce a decision by the end of March.