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On September 25, the New York City Department of City Planning formally announced its plans to rezone the West Chelsea neighborhood that surrounds the High Line. Reuse of the High Line as public open space is a focal point of the plan, which also includes provisions to help retain the art gallery district and to provide new housing opportunities.

Friends of the High Line (FHL) is pleased to be one of the many participants citywide in openhousenewyork (OHNY).

Over the course of the October 11 – 12 weekend, OHNY will provide free access to over 80 sights in all five boroughs – sites that are usually closed to the public, including tunnels, towers, boardrooms, mansions, and historic sites. Since FHL cannot provide large-scale public access to the High Line at this time (the structure is still owned/managed by Conrail/CSX), we are offering access to a rooftop adjacent to the Line from which most of the Line can be viewed:

Saturday, October 11, 10:00am – 4:00 PM
511 West 25th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)

For more information: click here. Special thanks to Whitehall and Jack Fuchs for their cooperation.

This Thursday, September 18, the New York City Department of City Planning will present a proposed rezoning for the far West Chelsea neighborhood surrounding the High Line. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for public comment. We urge FHL supporters who attend to comment positively on the plan’s building guidelines for new construction adjacent to the High Line, which will help maintain light, air, and views on the Line. In addition, we urge positive comment on the plan’s retention of the M1-5 (manufacturing) zoning in designated mid-block areas, which is vital for the continued vitality of the art community. Sign up as you enter if you wish to comment. The earlier you arrive and sign up, the earlier you will get to speak.

Thursday, September 18, 2003 @ 7:00 PM
Hudson Guild Auditorium at Fulton Center
119 Ninth Avenue (17th/18th Streets)

On Saturday, October 11, Friends of the High Line will participate in the inaugural openhousenewyork (OHNY), one of the largest celebrations of architecture and design in New York City history. OHNY will invite the public inside 75 fascinating sites, many of which are usually closed to the public, in all five boroughs—at no charge. Since we cannot offer tours of the High Line to the general public, FHL will participate by offering a unique rooftop view of the High Line. To request information on the OHNY inaugural weekend event, contact

OHNY needs your help in staffing these sites to ensure that each individual open house runs smoothly for visitors and building owners alike. The time commitment can be as little as four hours. Perks include a volunteer button that would allow you to jump the queue at other OHNY sites, a Not For Tourist Guidebook, and the gratitude of the thousands who will attend. Volunteer names will be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of photographer Stanley Greenberg's new book, Waterworks, which captures the beauty and mystery of New York's hidden water system.

If you're interested in being part of the OHNY team for our groundbreaking inaugural event, please click here to register.

If you have any questions regarding volunteering, please e-mail

As part of a multi-stage planning process leading to a design master plan for the High Line, Friends of the High Line (FHL) will hold an open community input session on October 28. There, FHL will solicit public comment on the design proposals created for Designing the High Line, the ideas competition FHL held earlier this year. We invite local residents and business-owners and all interested New Yorkers to come tell FHL which designs you liked (and which ones you didn’t like) and let us know what good ideas might have been missed by all 720 competition entrants. Public comment gathered at this event will be distilled into a list of community-mandated design guidelines that will be included in the Request for Proposals to be distributed to prospective design teams. This event offers High Line community members and the general public a valuable opportunity to register comments and ideas at the very start of the design process. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 28 @ TIME TBA (Evening)
Metropolitan Pavilion
110 West 19th Street (6th/7th Avenues)

Please RSVP to Olivia Stinson via e-mail at

We will inform you of the meeting's start time in a future e-mail, or you can check the FHL Web site for updates.

Following a three-year campaign for historic district designation by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) and its Save Gansevoort Market project, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to approve the proposed Gansevoort Market Historic District on September 9, 2003. The designation will play a crucial role in preserving the historic character of one of the most vibrant High Line neighborhoods.

Announcing the designation, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "We are very excited about the critical role that the Gansevoort Market Historic District, with its unique sense of place and historic importance, will play in the development of the Far West Side. This is just the first of several key projects, including the restoration of the High Line, the construction of Hudson River Park, and the development of the Hudson Yards, that form the core of the administration's plans for the Far West Side. When completed, these projects will revitalize the West Side of Manhattan, forming a necklace of dynamic waterfront communities, each with their own unique assets."

To view the Landmark Preservation Commission's press release, click here.

This major preservation victory could not have happened without the diligent work of Save Gansevoort Market co-chairs Jo Hamilton and Florent Morellet and GVSHP executive director Andrew Berman (all three of whom have also been dedicated supporters of the High Line's preservation). Friends of the High Line extends them thanks and congratulations.

Many FHL supporters have inquired about getting copies of the magnificent video presentation about the High Line, directed and produced by John Zieman, that was displayed at Grand Central Terminal during the Designing the High Line exhibition. The video, which features interviews with Edward Norton and Diane von Furstenberg, as well as spectacular High Line footage shot atop the Line, is now available through FHL. VHS and DVD copies are available, $15 each, including shipping and handling. To order, please contact Rick Little via e-mail or telephone at (212) 631-9188.

We urge Friends of the High Line supporters to attend an important public hearing held by the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) regarding the High Line.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2 PM
  • Federal Conference Center, 6th Floor, Jacob Javits Federal Building
  • 26 Federal Plaza
  • Enter by the Duane Street entrance at 26 Federal Plaza, between Broadway and Lafayette streets. All visitors must clear security and produce photo ID.

This may be the most important public hearing that FHL ever faces. A supportive audience would be very helpful. The STB, based in Washington, DC, is coming to New York specifically to review the High Line issue. The hearing is important because the High Line, part of the national rail system, falls under STB jurisdiction. STB approval is required for "rail-banking", which would preserve the High Line's structure and easement and allow the public to reuse it as open space.

The list of testifying parties has already been set by the STB. To view it, click here. Only parties who are on this list will be permitted to testify. But you can help just by showing up. The STB will register a full hearing room as evidence of the great public interest in saving the High Line.

All 720 "Designing the High Line" competition entries, including principal winners and honorable mentions, can now be viewed on the competition's Web site.

View the Web site here.

At Friends of the High Line's July 9 benefit preview of "Designing the High Line", New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million funding commitment for planning and construction costs related to the High Line's conversion to public space. This is the first major funding commitment for the High Line, and FHL is very grateful for the Speaker's leadership and for the City's growing support.

The funds will allow planning and construction to move forward, and they give FHL an excellent opportunity to attract major private, corporate, foundation, and federal funds.

The first $750,000 was allocated in the budget adopted by the New York City Council on June 27. The remainder of the commitment will be allocated in the following three fiscal years.

The funds will come from the City's capital budget, which pays for project costs such as planning, design, construction, and long-term leases. The allocation will not affect municipal services, which are funded separately through the City's expense budget.