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Friends of Hudson River Park (FoHRP) has been working hard for the past year to secure $70 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to build the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park.

FoHRP asks your support to help secure these funds. All concerned New Yorkers to should send a letter and/or a fax to John Whitehead, Chair of the LMDC, with copies of the message sent to the Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg.

Please help FoHRP secure funds for this beautiful park. For sample text and addresses of who to mail, fax, and/or e-mail, please follow the directions provided by FoHRP president Al Butzel by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 14, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, 192 Books will host a discussion with James Glanz and Eric Lipton, authors of City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center (Henry Holt, 2003). 192 Tenth Avenue (at 21st Street). For more information, go to

Friends of the High Line made major progress in 2003. The High Line's conversion to public space isn't a "done deal" yet—we still need to secure essential state and federal endorsements. But thanks to help from supporters like you, we've gotten much closer to creating a public space of unprecedented innovation and beauty atop this one-of-a-kind structure. Below, FHL's plans for 2004, and our achievements in 2003.

2004 PLANS

"Trail Use" Agreement: In 2004 FHL will be working to assist transfer of control of the High Line from CSX, the railroad that currently controls it, to the City of New York for reuse as public open space. On July 24, FHL testified with the City of New York before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in support of rail-banking the Line. (Rail-banking is the federal mechanism that allows rail corridors to be preserved as trails.) On October 2, the City filed a request to the STB to hold the matter in abeyance while the City holds discussions with affected stakeholders to resolve outstanding issues. The STB originally granted the request for an abeyance until January 5, 2004, and has since extended it to April 5, 2004. FHL hopes the negotiations in progress will ultimately pave the way for rail-banking. We will keep you updated on all relevant developments via this e-mail newsletter.

Design Master Plan: From its inception, FHL has dedicated itself to making the High Line as beautiful and original as the best public spaces in the world. FHL held a competition in 2003 to catalyze the creation of visionary ideas. Now we start the process of creating a master plan that embodies the creative spirit of the best competition entries but is also buildable, maintainable, and economically rational. During 2004, FHL and its partners, including the City of New York, will manage the creation of a comprehensive and realistic design master plan, one that covers the landscape on the High Line's upper deck, access, lighting, security, and programming.

Creating the design master plan will be a complex endeavor, involving architects, landscape architects, engineers, and numerous other experts. FHL is now working with the City of New York to determine the precise structure and timetable of the design process. As it is currently envisioned, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will start the master plan process. This will be followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP). Based on responses to the RFP, a design team will be selected and that team will develop a master plan that includes a comprehensive design vision for the Line as whole and as well as a highly detailed proposal of one segment of the Line.

FHL will issue regular announcements and updates about the design process through this e-mail newsletter.

State Endorsement: The State of New York has not yet endorsed the reuse of the High Line for public open space. Winning state approval is a key priority for FHL in 2004.


Change in Policy: The year began with a new, pro-High Line policy from the City of New York. The policy change was signaled by the City's legal petition to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in Washington requesting the start of the federal "rail-banking" process, which would allow the High Line to be used as public open space.

Design Competition: In January 2003, FHL launched Designing the High Line, an open, international ideas competition, soliciting forward-thinking proposals for the structure's reuse. 720 individuals and teams from 36 countries submitted proposals. These were evaluated by a renowned panel of jurors in May 2003, displayed at Grand Central Terminal in July 2003, and viewed by over 100,000 people. All 720 entries can be viewed online at

Funding: On July 9, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million funding commitment for capital costs related to the High Line's conversion to public space.

STB Hearing: On July 24, FHL testified with the City of New York before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in support of rail-banking the Line. (Rail-banking is the federal mechanism that allows rail corridors to be preserved as trails.) City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, and City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden all appeared to testify. It was the first time the City supported the High Line project in such a public and coordinated manner. The STB is holding the matter in abeyance until April 5, 2004, while the City meets with CSX and other stakeholders to resolve outstanding issues.

Historic District: On September 9, the Landmarks Preservation Commission gave landmark designation to the Gansevoort Market Historic District, one of three neighborhoods linked by the High Line. Mayor Bloomberg said the designation, along with the High Line's reuse, were at the "core of the administration's plans" to "revitalize the Far West Side". In late-December, 2003, FHL moved its office to the newly-designated historic district.

Community Input Forum: On October 28, FHL convened a meeting with 400 community participants to review proposals created in the Designing the High Line competition, share ideas, express priorities, and determine a set of community design goals. To see a summary of the forum, go to:

Telebeam: The telephone system in FHL's new office was generously donated by Telebeam Systems, Inc. Telebeam and its affiliates are communications companies specializing in digital business systems, voice mail systems, and "interactive media portals" – sidewalk kiosks that combine phone service with Internet, video e-mail, print-out capabilities, and tourist and emergency information services. For more information about Telebeam, go to

Parke & Ronen: Our thanks out to Parke & Ronen, the stylish West Chelsea boutique one block east of the High Line, for helping us publicize our recent benefit. Parke & Ronen is currently having a 50% – 70% OFF sale on selected merchandise. 176 Ninth Avenue, (20th-21st Street). (212) 989-4245. For more information, go to

192 Books: 192 Books offered FHL much-needed assistance publicizing the Community Input Forum in October. This independent bookstore, owned by longtime FHL supporters Paula Cooper and Jack Macrae, is just across Tenth Avenue from the High Line at 21st Street. It is also one of the few locations where Designing the High Line, the soft-cover publication of 29 design ideas for the High Line's reuse, is sold ($5). On Wednesday, January 14, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, 192 Books will host a discussion with James Glanz and Eric Lipton, authors of City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center (Henry Holt, 2003). 192 Tenth Avenue (at 21st Street). For more information, go to

crobar: Many thanks to crobar for hosting our fabulous December 12 benefit in their VIP room the very first night they were open to the public. It was a fabulous event! This new, hip nightclub is on West 28th Street, just west of the High Line. Upcoming private events include parties for artists like Dennis Oppenheim, a variety of musicians, and a party honoring Elvis Presley's birthday. For more club information and to get on Crobar's list, go to For more information about special events at Crobar, call Lee Blumer at (917) 339-1809.

Metropolitan Pavilion: The great success of our October 28 High Line Community Input Forum, which was attended by over 400 members of the greater High Line community, was due largely to the generosity and support of Metropolitan Pavilion.

Metropolitan Pavilion is Manhattan's premier medium-sized event space, offering 3 rooms in one location. Winner of Event Solution Magazine's Spotlight Award for 2003's Best National Event Space, Metropolitan Pavilion is an ideal place for parties. It can accommodate events for 50 to 1,600 guests. Its street-level space features polished oak floors and original turn-of-the-century architectural highlights. Its 4th floor Gallery is an intimate space with a gleaming white epoxy resin floor. It gets natural sunlight from 3 sides. Learn more at, or call Fred at (212) 463-0071. Mention that you're a Friend of the High Line.

Join Friends of the High Line (FHL) and be among the very first people to experience crobar, a brand-new nightclub at the heart of the emerging nightlife district in far West Chelsea. All proceeds will benefit FHL's efforts to create a magnificent new public open space atop the High Line elevated rail structure.

Friday, December 12, is the first night that crobar will be open to the public, and High Line supporters will be celebrating in the VIP Room from 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm with music by DJ Sammy Jo and open bar from Bacardi. Stay after for Larry Tee's Outsider Electronic Music Festival. According to Time Out New York, "Not only is Larry Tee's night of audio eccentricity… a must-attend wingding in its own right, but it's being held on the long-awaited crobar’s opening night, making this a double Don't Miss." Party tickets start at $75 and can be purchased online until 12 noon on Friday Dec. 12th or at the door.

530 West 28th Street (10th – 11th Avenues)
Friday, December 12, 8:00 – 10:00 PM

To view online invitation, click here.

A 12-minute video about the High Line, directed by John Zieman, featuring interviews with Edward Norton, Diane von Furstenberg, and New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, will open the DV Film Festival on Wednesday, December 10, at the DV Expo West in Los Angeles. The film was originally presented at FHL's "Designing the High Line" competition exhibition at Grand Central Terminal in July 2003. It is also available for purchase in DVD or VHS format from Friends of the High Line. The DV Film Festival highlights the work of digital filmmakers from around the world.

For more info on the DV Film Festival and DV Expo West, click here.

To order the High Line video in DVD or VHS format for $15 including shipping, send an e-mail to

FHL recently published Designing the High Line: Ideas for Reclaiming 1.5 Miles of Manhattan, featuring 29 entries from this year's open, international design competition. The large-format (11" x 16"), four-color, 37-page, soft-cover publication was designed by Pentagram and sponsored by Viacom Outdoor and Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried. It's available for just $5 at these New York City booksellers:

192 Books
192 Tenth Avenue (at 21st Street)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-4022

Printed Matter, Inc.
535 West 22nd Street (between 10th + 11th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 925-0325

Urban Center Books
457 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 935-3592

Be among the very first people to celebrate at crobar, the newest nightclub in West Chelsea, next to the High Line. Escape the office holiday party routine and come enjoy great music by DJ Sammy Jo and a full open bar, and support the movement to create Manhattan's greatest new public space. At crobar, Friday, December 12, 8:00pm – 10:30pm, 530 West 28th Street (10th & 11th Avenues). Tickets start at $75 – all but $15 is tax-deductible. Space is limited, so buy your tickets now.

To view the online invitation, click here.

To purchase tickets, click here.

On Sunday, November 2, 2003, the New York Times ran a major op-ed article by Kenneth T. Jackson strongly urging New Yorkers and elected officials to convert the High Line to an elevated public open space.

To read the op-ed article, click here.

The article was remarkable both for the elegance of Jackson's essay and the beauty of accompanying photographs by Abelardo Morell. The photos and text together occupied the majority of the op-ed page, which is one of the most influential opinion pages in any American newspaper.

We still need your help. The preservation and reuse of the High Line is not yet a done deal, as Jackson noted in his essay. Friends of the High Line needs to secure an endorsement from the State of New York, a federal approval, and millions of dollars for rehabilitation and construction. That's why press support like this op-ed article is so important – and why your support is so important.

"The High Line can be another story of redemption in New York," writes Jackson, comparing the conversion of the High Line to the renovation of the Tweed Courthouse. Please help us make Jackson's words come true – by making an online donation to Friends of the High Line, or by signing up to volunteer.

Jackson is professor of history at Columbia University, president of the New-York Historical Society, and editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City. Abelardo Morell's photographs have been exhibited and collected by major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He is professor of art at Massachusetts College of Art and author of A Book of Books.

Only one of Morell's photographs is included in the online version of the New York Times op-ed article. FHL hopes to post more of Morell's photos of the High Line in the near future.

On Tuesday, October 14, the New York Times featured plans for a new building by Frank Gehry proposed for the High Line neighborhood. The building would house offices for Barry Diller's InterActiveGroup – a group of Internet businesses with a travel focus. To read the New York Times article by Herbert Muschamp, click here.