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The future of the final section of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards took a major step forward today.

For the very first time, all stakeholders have now publicly stated their commitment to preserving and transforming the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue, into public open space.

Today’s announcement was made at a press conference to mark a lease agreement between the Related Companies and Coach. The New York-based retail company, which is currently based on West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, plans to occupy 600,000 square feet of new office space within a new building to be built at the northwest corner of 10th Avenue and West 30th Street. The Related Companies will begin construction of the building in 2012, effectively breaking ground on the planned development for the Hudson Yards.

Read the Mayor’s press release to learn more about the development project.

At the press conference, Mayor Bloomberg announced two pieces of major news for the High Line:

  • CSX Transportation, Inc., the private rail freight company that still owns the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, has agreed, in principle, to donate this last remaining section to the City of New York, just like it did for the High Line south of West 30th Street, and
  • The City of New York has reached an agreement, in principle, with the State of New York and the Related Companies to preserve the entire historic structure of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue, and is working to open the High Line all the way to West 34th Street to the public as soon as possible.

The details of the necessary legal agreements to allow the High Line to move forward still need to be finalized, but this consensus is without a doubt the most significant step toward our ultimate goal of preserving the entire historic High Line.

Once the City’s acquisition is complete, Friends of the High Line expects to design and operate this section of the High Line through a public-private partnership with the City of New York, just like the park south of West 30th Street. We have already made significant progress on raising private funding to support the High Line’s final section and build the park’s endowment, including a $20 million commitment from the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, as well as $5 million pledges from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Donald Pels and Wendy Keys. We are also grateful to other generous supporters who have funded our advocacy work and all rail yards programming: the New York Community Trust and its LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund, Greenacre Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

There is more work to be done, of course. We look forward to working with all of the stakeholders to finalize the City’s acquisition. We would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Manhattan Community Boards 2 and 4, the Related Companies, and Coach for their commitment to the High Line. We would also like to thank CSX Transportation, Inc. for its commitment to donate the final section of the High Line to the City, and for its historic and ongoing support for the project.

Crews have cleared the ice from teh High Line's paths, and the entire park, between Gansevoort Street and West 30th Street, is now open to the public. Visit the blog to learn more about our process for removing ice from the High Line's paths.

Please check back for the latest updates and information.


Due to unsafe conditions created by the persistent snow, the High Line is closing early on Saturday, October 29. Visitors should anticipate a delayed opening of the High Line on Sunday, October 30, to allow crews to clear the stairs and pathways for visitors.

Please check back for latest updates and information or follow @highlinenyc on Twitter.

The High Line will remain closed on Sunday, October 30 due to unsafe conditions created by heavy ice. To protect the plants and path, we do not use corrosive rock salt or chemicals to melt ice and snow. Instead, we rely on warmer temperatures and hand shovels to remove ice from the park's pathway.

Today's High Line Program, Halloween Hi-Jinks on the High Line, is cancelled.

Visitors should anticipate a delayed opening of the High Line on Monday, October 31 to allow crews to finish clearing the ice. Please check back for latest updates and information or follow @highlinenyc on Twitter.

EnlargeHalloween Hi Jinks

Halloween Hi-Jinks on the High Line is cancelled. To ensure everyone's safety and to allow crews to clear the ice, the park will remain closed on Sunday, October 30.

Please subscribe to our email newsletter and follow @highlinenyc on Twitter for updates on High Line Programs for families.

EnlargeHalloween Hi Jinks

Dress in costume and bring the whole family to the first-ever High Line Halloween Parade. A giant haunted train made by kids from local public schools will lead the parade to the Chelsea Market Passage, where families can enjoy face-painting, spooky tunes, and playtime with the Children’s Workyard Kit. From 12:00 - 4:00 PM, you can even purchase a pumpkin you pick out yourself—using your artistic talents to decorate it or just take it home to enjoy.

Visit our Event Calendar to learn more.

Enlarge14th Street Passage

High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line, is pleased to present Sue de Beer’s Haunt Room, which opens Friday, October 28 on the High Line.

Located in the 14th Street Passage on the High Line, Haunt Room is an interactive public art installation designed to induce haunted feelings by exposure to infrasound.

Join us this evening from 5:00 to 7:00 PM for the opening reception with the artist. Halloween costumes are encouraged!

EnlargeDiane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller

We are pleased to share exciting news: the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation has made a $20 million commitment to the High Line, which is the largest single private contribution to a public park in New York City’s history.

This unprecedented pledge, made by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, will support our fundraising efforts to transform the final, undeveloped section of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards and help build an endowment for the park’s long-term maintenance and operations.

In 2005, when the High Line was a beautiful design on paper, many people said it was an impossible dream. Barry, Diane, and their family stepped forward at that crucial moment with visionary support that helped catalyze the construction of the first section of the High Line.

Later, during the turmoil of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, they stepped forward again to make sure that the second section of the High Line could be built to the same standards of design and to begin an endowment for the park’s long-term operations.

Now, understanding the importance of our mission to secure the entire historic High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, and to build our endowment, they have come forward once again to meet the High Line’s most pressing needs.

With this pledge, the Diller – von Furstenberg family has donated a total of $35 million to the High Line, demonstrating their leadership in preserving and transforming the High Line into a public park to be enjoyed by New Yorkers for generations to come.

View the press release to learn more about this historic gift, or read about it in the New York Times.


Bicycling is a great way to get around and experience New York City in a whole new way. Join us on Tuesday, October 25 between 11:00 and 3:00 PM to learn more about New York City’s Bike Share Program, and go for a spin on one of the demonstration bikes from bike share programs in cities around the world.

Visit our Event Calendar for details.

EnlargeCecilia Alemani

Friends of the High Line is pleased to announce that Cecilia Alemani will be appointed the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator and Director of High Line Art Program. A distinguished independent curator and writer, Cecilia is currently a guest curator for the upcoming Performa 11, and a collaborator on the Frame section at the Frieze Art Fair in London and Frieze Talks series in New York. Cecilia succeeds Lauren Ross, who left the position in June and is now the Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In this position, Cecilia will lead High Line Art, a program presented by Friends of the High Line that introduces site-specific, temporary public art commissions, collaborations, and events in and around the High Line to the more than two million people who visit the park each year. Cecilia will bring to High Line Art international experience as an independent curator and writer, and a history of curatorial collaborations with museums, foundations, non-profit art organizations, and cultural institutions, including MoMA/PS1, New York; X Initiative, New York; Artists Space, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Tate Modern, London; Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy; and Venice International Film Festival, Venice, Italy.

“After an extensive search, it is clear that Cecilia is the best candidate to lead High Line Art. Cecilia is a thoughtful, forward-thinking curator who will bring an innovative approach to structuring the public art program on the High Line,” said Donald R. Mullen, Jr., the founding supporter of High Line Art and Board member of Friends of the High Line. “I have often said that the High Line is the new museum mile. High Line Art celebrates the park’s role in connecting two neighborhoods that make up the cultural hub of New York City, with the more than 400 galleries and cultural organizations that populate the streets below the park. Cecilia’s curatorial leadership will elevate High Line Art to new level in New York City and the international art world.”

“We are pleased to welcome Cecilia to Friends of the High Line. The rotating series of public art on the High Line is one of the ways we encourage the public to come back to the park again and again. With Cecilia’s vision and experience, High Line Art will expand the opportunities for the public to discover art and performance in ways that are accessible, engaging, and complementary of the High Line itself,” said Robert Hammond, Co-Founder, Friends of the High Line. “Since Joshua David and I founded Friends of the High Line in 1999, we have worked with the art community in the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea to celebrate the High Line. High Line Art builds upon this history now that the park is open.”

About Cecilia Alemani
Cecilia Alemani is an independent curator and writer. From 2009 to 2010, she served as Curatorial Director of X Initiative, New York, a year-long experimental non-profit space where she curated numerous exhibitions including solo shows by Keren Cytter, Luke Fowler, Hans Haacke, Christian Holstad, Derek Jarman, Mika Tajima, Tris Vonna-Michell and Artur Zmijewski. At X Initiative she conceived and organized more than 50 events including performances, panel discussions, symposia, lectures, concerts and screenings. In June, 2009, Cecilia co-founded No Soul For Sale, a festival of independent spaces, non-profit organizations, and artists collectives which took place at X Initiative, and at Tate Modern – Turbine Hall in London in May, 2010 as part of the museum’s tenth anniversary celebration. She has organized numerous exhibitions including The Comfort of Strangers (MoMA/PS1, New York, 2010); boundLES (at numerous venues in the Lower East Side, New York); ONLYCONNECT (Bloomberg Headquarters with Art in General, New York, 2008); and Things Fall Apart All Over Again (Artists Space, New York, 2005). Alemani holds a BA degree in Philosophy from the University of Milan (2001) and an MA in Curatorial Studies (2005) from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

High Line Art
Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions innovative, temporary, and site-specific artworks to provide park visitors with a unique and enriching experience and introduce contemporary artists to a wide audience. Since the program was founded in 2009, High Line Art has commissioned more than ten site-specific installations, including artworks by Kim Beck; Francis Cape; Spencer Finch; Valerie Hegarty; Richard Galpin; Demetrius Oliver; Lisa Sigal and Paul Ramirez Jonas; Joel Sternfeld; Julianne Swartz; Sarah Sze; and Stephen Vitiello, as well as collaborations with Creative Time, Performa, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company. In 2009, High Line Art was awarded first place for Best Show in a Public Space by the International Association of Art Critics. More than six million visitors have come to the High Line since the first section opened in 2009.