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As part of a larger effort to bring $43 million in federal transportation funds to New York City, Congressman Jerrold Nadler has included $5 million for the High Line in the House version of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), the six-year federal transportation bill.

We hope all FHL supporters will join us in thanking the Congressman for his instrumental role in making the High Line vision become a reality. FHL would also like to thank the hundreds of supporters who wrote to Congressman Nadler encouraging him to bring federal funding to the High Line. By taking a few minutes to write to your elected representative, you've made a real difference in the future of New York City.

There are still a number of hurdles ahead of us before the funding becomes a reality. The funding must be approved by the Senate in the House/Senate conference, which is the next step in the process. In addition, the overall bill must be signed by the President. FHL will keep you posted on the bill's progress as it moves forward.

Friends of the High Line (FHL) seeks to build on its foundation as a grass-roots, community-based organization through the planning, implementation, and management of an innovatively designed, creatively run community engagement program. A Community Engagement Manager is sought to manage the development and implementation of this program.

    Primary responsibilities of the Community Engagement Manager
    Oversee creation of a community engagement program that sets new standards for the field and is as innovative and creative as the High Line project as a whole, including:
    • Create and manage programs and events that engage community members in development of a design master plan for the High Line (now to Winter 2004/5, in coordination with design team and project manager)

    • Create and manage programs and events that build community engagement with the High Line project as a whole prior the start of construction

    • Attend all meetings of relevant community groups (often evenings)

    • Develop strategy for engaging active participation of lower income, minority, and senior community residents in design, programming, and operating decisions

    • Oversee and expand volunteer program, including volunteer management in public programs such as street fairs and events (often weekends or evenings)
    Desired Experience for Community Engagement Manager
    • 3 years experience in community outreach and engagement, with emphasis on mobilizing lower income and minority groups

    • Familiarity with community-building in lower-income and/or publicly subsidized housing complexes

    • Development and management of volunteer programs
    Commensurate with experience

    To Apply
    Send resume, cover letter, and three professional reference contacts via postal mail and/or e-mail to:

    Friends of the High Line Attn: Human Resources - Community Engagement Manager 430 West 14th Street, Suite 304 New York, NY 10014

    No phone calls, please.
    FHL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

A design master plan for the High Line's conversion to public open space will be developed between now and Winter 2004/5 under the guidance of a steering committee comprised of representatives from FHL and the City of New York. FHL seeks a Project Manager to manage FHL's role in the master plan's development.

Primary Responsibilities of the Project Manager
  • Act as primary liaison between design team and working group made up of FHL and City representatives

  • Create and manage a schedule of design deliverables, public meetings, site visits, and working group/steering committee review meetings and work sessions

  • Coordinate production of documents requiring input from multiple working group members

  • Research and evaluate NYC code requirements and prepare briefings

  • Manage project budget and City, State, and Federal funding applications

  • Coordinate community input sessions with design team and community representatives

  • Oversee production of all meeting materials and presentation and exhibition materials related to design process
Desired Experience for the Project Manager
  • 3 years work experience in a relevant field(s), including government relations, community outreach, architecture, landscape, and/or planning

  • Excellent project management skills

  • Experience administering contracts

  • Excellent skills in MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Word, and MS Project
  • (or equivalent)
Commensurate with experience

To Apply
Send resume, cover letter, and three professional reference contacts via postal mail and/or e-mail to:

Friends of the High Line
Attn: Human Resources - Project Manager
430 West 14th Street, Suite 304
New York, NY 10014

No phone calls, please.
FHL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

Answers to the first RFQ questions submitted by potential RFQ respondents have been posted on the RFQ Q+A page of the RFQ Web site,

FHL's 4th Annual Summer Benefit, chaired by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Diane von Furstenberg, and Edward Norton, with Alexandre von Furstenberg and Bronson van Wyck heading up the Steering Committee, will be held the evening of Wednesday, July 14, 2004. It promises to be FHL's best party ever. If you would like to join a benefit committee to help FHL sell tickets, please e-mail or telephone Juliet Page: or (212) 206-9922, x360.

All questions related to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued on March 1, 2004, must be received by Monday, March 15, 2004. Please e-mail questions to or fax them to (212) 206-9118. Questions will be answered on a rolling basis and posted on the the RFQ Q+A page until Monday, March 22, when the final list of questions and answers will be posted. RFQ Q+A page.

Friends of the High Line and City of New York Release
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Design Master Plan to be Created in 12 Months

Efforts to reclaim the High Line, an unused 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side, took a major step forward today, when Friends of the High Line (FHL) and the City of New York jointly began a process to select the design team that will create a master plan for the High Line's conversion to public open space.

Specifically, FHL, in conjunction with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), asking that groups of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers, horticulturists, and other professionals form teams and submit written applications to be considered to design the High Line master plan.

Responses to the RFQ are due April 1, 2004. To view the RFQ, go to:

All questions about the RFQ should be e-mailed to or faxed to (212) 206-9118 by Monday, March 15. Answers will by posted on the RFQ Web site on Monday, March 22.

Design Team Selection Process and Timeline
The release of the RFQ begins the selection process for a team to design the High Line master plan, with a design team to be identified by mid-summer 2004:

  • March 1, 2004: RFQ issued

  • April 1, 2004: RFQ responses due

  • Mid-April 2004: 5-7 teams receive Request for Proposals (RFP)

  • May – June 2004: RFP responses due

  • July – August 2004: Design team selection

RFQ Requirements
The RFQ indicates that teams should be led by a firm specializing one of the three principle areas of expertise required for the project: architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Other areas of expertise relevant to the project include but are not limited to: engineering, public art, lighting, horticulture, recreation, New York City building codes, and cost estimating.

Responses to the RFQ must include a 2-page statement of project design approach; a team description/organizational chart; and background on qualifications and previous work of team members.

A precise and complete description of submission requirements is included in the RFQ, which can be downloaded at:

Evaluation Criteria
All RFQ responses will be evaluated with a focus on these key selection criteria:

  • Demonstrated design excellence

  • Vision and feasibility of stated project approach

  • The experience of the architecture firm, landscape architecture firm, or urban design firm leading the team

  • Team balance between established and emerging professionals

  • Experience in the design, development, and completion of a public and/or cultural development project of not less than $25 million in total construction costs

  • Experience in development in New York City that demonstrates understanding of the applicable standards and regulations that will apply to this type of adaptive reuse project; inter-agency coordination and utility coordination; and securing necessary City, State, and Federal permits and approvals

  • Demonstrated ability to engage the community and the greater public in the design process

  • Experience in multidisciplinary teams and expertise in all necessary disciplines as defined by the team

  • Proven track record of timely and cost-effective project management, including meeting deadlines consistently, remaining within project budgets, and working collaboratively with other teams
FHL and City to Jointly Run Design Process
The release of the RFQ results from an agreement between FHL and the City of New York to jointly select a design team and create a master plan. FHL and City staff will administer the process with oversight from a steering committee comprised of FHL appointments and City representatives. An advisory committee representing community and public interests and elected officials will consult with the selected design team on a regular basis as the master plan is developed. Public engagement will be actively encouraged at open public planning sessions.

RFQ Follows City Support and Ideas Competition
FHL has worked since 1999 to reclaim the High Line for reuse as public open space. In December 2002, the City of New York declared its support for the project by filing to use federal "rail-banking" legislation to create a public open space on the High Line.

From January to July 2003, FHL conducted an open, international ideas competition, "Designing the High Line", soliciting innovative design proposals for the High Line. Because it was an ideas competition, "Designing the High Line" was not structured to identify an individual or team to be awarded a High Line design contract. Entries did not have to be practical or realistic. Rather, entrants were encouraged to be bold and forward-thinking—to create visions as unique and unexpected as the High Line itself. The competition was sponsored and run by FHL without City oversight.

In contrast, the RFQ is being jointly issued by FHL and the City and will ultimately lead to the selection of a design team that will be contracted to create a master plan for the High Line. While it is hoped that the master plan will embody the creative innovation of the ideas competition, the final master plan must be constructable, maintainable, and economically rational. The design team selection process and the development of a master plan will reflect those requirements.

Entrants to the "Designing the High Line" competition are encouraged to respond to the RFQ, and if they do, they will be assessed according to same criteria as all other RFQ respondents. For instance, emerging professionals might need to partner with more established firms in order to meet selection criteria.

Project Issues
The conversion of the High Line to public open space must still pass several important milestones before construction can actually begin. The Surface Transportation Board (STB), the federal body with jurisdiction over the Line's future, must grant a Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU), permitting the railroad that currently owns the High Line to negotiate a trail use agreement with the City of New York. In addition, endorsements from the State of New York are still sought for the project.

City, State, and Federal Funding for the High Line
The High Line project has received significant funding allocations from the City of New York, the State of New York, and the federal government.

  • In July 2003, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million capital funding commitment to the project.

  • In August 2003, New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried announced a $50,000 funding commitment to the project.

  • In January 2004, $500,000 in federal funds were committed to the project in the 2004 Transportation Appropriations Bill, thanks to a successful request by Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Jerrold Nadler.
Additional funds are anticipated from public and private sources in the future.

FHL seeks part-time office help on an hourly wage basis. Duties include preparing mailings, research, data entry and editing, and other general assistance. All applicants should be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer. An interest in the High Line is a plus, as is residency in or familiarity with the High Line community. FHL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified candidates encouraged to apply.

No phone calls, please. All interested applicants should submit their resumes via e-mail and/or postal mail to:

Rick Little
Friends of the High Line
430 West 14th Street, Suite 304
New York, NY 10014

Manhattan Community Board No. 4 has invited the New York City Department of City Planning to present its Hudson Yards rezoning plans to community members and the general public.

Wednesday, February 25, 6:30 PM
Douglas Fairbanks Theater
432 W. 42nd Street (between Dyer & 10th Avenues)

For more information, go to CB4's Web site.

FHL has postponed its February 25 "Track Heads" event, which included an open house at FHL’s new office followed by roller-skating at the Roxy. The event has been postponed to avoid a conflict with an important community meeting regarding the Hudson Yards (see next story). The FHL open house event will be rescheduled for a later date.