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On January 18, IAC/InterActiveCorp celebrated the topping-off of its new Manhattan headquarters, designed by Frank Gehry. IAC/InterActiveCorp's CEO, Barry Diller, is a longtime supporter of the High Line project, and he expects that the new headquarters will play a central role in the future of the neighborhood. On January 11, Mr. Diller was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, saying that the High Line District, "is an embryonic neighborhood where we could be a participant... It'll be a wondrous environment to live, to work, to play." Located on a site between 18th and 19th Streets, on the West Side Highway, the IAC/InterActiveCorp headquarters has been designed by Mr. Gehry to evoke the sails of a ship, a reference to the nautical history of the area. The building is expected to open in March 2007.

In his January 26 State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited the High Line as an example of the positive development currently going on in New York. Mayor Bloomberg called the High Line project, "one of the most innovative park projects in the world."

Read the State of the City Address

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Railbanking: In November, the High Line was railbanked, ensuring its future as a public park. Railbanking has been our primary goal since Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999.



Federal Authorization/CITU: In June, the federal body that governs the use of rail corridors issued a Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU). This concluded 20 years of legal disputes about the High Line and authorized railbanking negotiations to proceed. Above: Front page New York Times headline announcing the authorization.
Read the New York Times Article

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Public Design Session: In May, over 400 members of the public gathered at the Bohen Foundation, in the Meatpacking District, for a design presentation and Q+A with the team of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Above: FHL's Robert Hammond addresses the group.
Read the Q+A





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$18 Million in Federal Funding: In August, Senators Schumer and Clinton and Congressman Nadler secured $18 million for the High Line in the multi-year federal transportation bill. Above: Senator Clinton walks on the High Line with FHL's Robert Hammond and Joshua David and other supporters to announce the funding.








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West Chelsea Rezoning: In June, the City rezoned West Chelsea to support the High Line's reuse, among other objectives. FHL brought 150 community members to a City Council hearing to support High Line-related provisions in the rezoning proposal.






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MoMA Exhibition: From April through October, the Museum of Modern Art exhibited the preliminary design by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Above: Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, 3rd and 4th from left.








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Design Web Site: In April, FHL launched a comprehensive, interactive design Web site showcasing the preliminary design. Special thanks to PS and unitytheory for their Web design expertise.
View the Design Web Site










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Community Outreach: In November, FHL hosted a pizza party and project briefing for residents of the Robert Fulton Houses, in Chelsea. It was one of a series of FHL events that engage a full range of community participation in the High Line project. Above: Peter Mullan, FHL's Director of Planning, addresses the group.







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  Kitchen / High Line Block Party: In September, FHL teamed up with West Chelsea arts organization The Kitchen to present the Kitchen / High Line Block Party. More than 5,000 people attended the free event, which featured arts and crafts activities, music, entertainment, and food from neighborhood restaurants.






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High Line viewing with Open House New York: In October, more than 1,400 people viewed the High Line from the Phillips de Pury & Company auction house as part of the third annual Open House New York weekend.














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Education Program: FHL's education program, now in its fourth year, was based this fall at Hudson Guild. Second-graders learned about the High Line's history and future, toured the neighborhood, and built High Line models.














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  Dynamic Fundraising Events: As always, FHL's 2005 fundraising events were as dynamic and unique as the High Line project. Top: Over 700 supporters gathered at Cipriani Wall Street for FHL's 5th Annual Summer Benefit. Middle: Anderson Cooper, left, introduces Summer Benefit honorees: environmentalist Ed Norton, City Planning Chair Amanda Burden, and photographer Joel Sternfeld. Bottom: FHL's Joshua David and Robert Hammond compete in the Miss Meatpacking District Gown Contest, part of an irreverent ball at the Roxy honoring Meatpacking District pioneer Florent Morellet.

View Summer Benefit Photos

Railbanking: FHL's biggest victory yet. Railbanking has been our central goal ever since we started FHL in 1999. It allows the High Line to be preserved for park use, and it enables construction to begin in 2006. Two advances in November 2005 allowed railbanking to take place: the City took ownership of the High Line from CSX Transportation, Inc., and signed a Trail Use Agreement.

City Partnership: In 2005, the City of New York welcomed FHL into a successful collaboration to advance the High Line project. FHL is grateful to the Bloomberg Administration for fostering this extraordinary public-private partnership.

CITU: In June, the federal Surface Transportation Board issued a Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU). This concluded 20 years of legal disputes about the High Line's future and allowed railbanking negotiations to proceed.

$18 Million in Federal Funding: In August, Senators Schumer and Clinton and Congressman Nadler secured $18 million for the High Line in the multi-year federal transportation bill.

$61.75 Million in City Funding: City funding commitments to the High Line now stand at $61.75 million.

West Chelsea Rezoning: In June, the City rezoned West Chelsea to support the High Line's reuse, among other objectives. Prior to City approval of the rezoning, FHL brought 150 community members to a City Council Hearing to support High Line-related provisions in the proposal.

Preliminary Design: In collaboration with the City, FHL worked with the design team of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro to complete a preliminary design for the first stage of the High Line's transformation (Gansevoort Street to 15th Street).

Public Forums and Input: In May, FHL continued its successful series of public input forums, presenting the preliminary design to 400 New Yorkers at the Bohen Foundation, in the Meatpacking District.

MoMA Exhibition: From April through October, the Museum of Modern Art exhibited "The High Line," an exhibition focused on the preliminary design.

Outstanding Reviews: Reviewing the MoMA exhibition in the Wall Street Journal, Ada Louise Huxtable called the preliminary design, "a proposal that ranks with the best of them. This imaginative and sensitive scheme is so well conceived and its design development is being so well orchestrated… that it serves as an object lesson for [the] preservation movement...."

Front Page New York Times: In June, the New York Times featured a High Line article and photograph on its front page: "Rusty Railroad On Its Way to Pristine Park; City Gets Approval To Transform Old Line".

Free Community Events: In September, over 5,000 people attended the High Line/Kitchen Block Party hosted by FHL with the Kitchen, a West Chelsea arts organization. In October, over 1,400 people viewed the High Line from the gallery of Phillips de Pury & Company auction house; the event was part of the third annual Open House New York weekend. In October and November, the arts organization Creative Time presented an international exhibition of works inspired by the High Line's upcoming transformation, in an out-of-use meatpacking plant adjacent to the High Line. All events were free.

Education Program: For eight weeks in the fall, FHL sponsored an education program for second-graders at Hudson Guild, culminating in a model-building project.

Strong Fundraising Events: In July, FHL's Summer Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street honored Amanda Burden, Ed Norton, and Joel Sternfeld, attracted 700 guests. In the fall, FHL honored Meatpacking District pioneer Florent Morellet at an irreverent ball at the Roxy.

Dear Friends of the High Line,

We are thrilled to share fantastic news with you. Marking the single biggest advance for the High Line project since its inception, the High Line has been railbanked, clearing the way for construction to begin in 2006. (Click here to read the press release.)

Railbanking was our most important goal when we started Friends of the High Line in 1999. This is a historic moment for the project.

In order for the High Line to be railbanked, two actions took place. [1] The City of New York acquired title to the High Line from the railroad, CSX Transportation, Inc. [2] The City and CSX signed a Trail Use Agreement, permitting the rail structure to be used by the public as a recreational amenity.

Please join us in thanking Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Bloomberg administration, and CSX Transportation, Inc., for their hard work to achieve this crucial advance. We also thank the Speaker of the New York City Council, Gifford Miller, for his visionary leadership and funding commitments to the High Line; Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Jerrold Nadler for the nearly $20 million in federal funds they've brought to the project; and all our elected officials for their longtime support, including Governor George Pataki, State Senator Thomas Duane, State Assembly Members Richard Gottfried and Deborah Glick, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, and City Council Member Christine Quinn.

On a related note, this weekend is your last chance to Creative Time's "The Plain of Heaven," set in an out-of-use meatpacking plant adjacent to the High Line. It's free to visit the 14 wonderful art pieces (many of them inspired by the High Line's coming transformation). The rail siding on the top level of the exhibition offers a great view of the southern end of the High Line, which is where construction will begin, starting next year. For more information, click here.

We could not have reached this exciting place without of all the Friends of the High Line.

Thank you.

Robert Hammond & Joshua David
Co-Founders, Friends of the High Line

PS. A note about "Groundbreaking." We had intended to mark railbanking, which paves the way for the start of construction, with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony this month. But we have chosen instead to celebrate groundbreaking at the start of construction, in a few months time. We will keep you updated about plans for groundbreaking and any related celebrations via this E-Mail Newsletter. To subscribe, visit http://www.thehighline.org.

Read the Official Press Release

"The Plain of Heaven," Creative Time's international exhibition of works inspired by the High Line's upcoming transformation, runs for just three more weekends. The exhibition occupies an out-of-use meatpacking plant at the High Line's southern terminus, with 14 works that include drawing, sound, photography, and multimedia. The works are installed in empty meatpacking plant facilities: processing rooms, refrigerated lockers, and meat-curing chambers. At the end of the exhibition, visitors may step onto a rail platform overlooking the High Line, where meat used to be unloaded from New York Central Railroad freight trains. Anyone with an interest in the High Line and contemporary art will not want to miss this exciting exhibition. 820 Washington Street, at Gansevoort Street. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, through November 20. 12:00pm – 6:00pm. FREE. For more information, please view the press release.

There will be a free, guided tour of the exhibition for High Line supporters, led by a curator from Creative Time, on Saturday, November 5, from 11:00am to 12:00pm. Space is limited and reservations are required. The first 40 people to respond to this email will secure a spot on this special tour. Please e-mail katie@thehighline.org.

Buy your tickets now for Florent's Bi-Decade{nt} Ball and Miss Meat Market Gown Contest, this coming Saturday, October 22, at the Roxy. The event celebrates 20 years of Restaurant Florent and the wild celebrations, drag shows, and Bastille Day performances that have made it a New York City institution. Emcees Flotilla DeBarge and Murray Hill introduce a fabulous roster of performers including Lady Miss Kier; Atesh, bellydancer extraordinaire; Live From Las Vegas: Raven-O and Joey Arias; and many, many others. $150 tickets include open bar, buffet, and entertainment. Funds raised benefit Friends of the High Line and the Meatpacking District Initiative.

Florent Bi-Decade{nt} Ball and Miss Meat Market Gown Contest
Saturday, October 22, 7:00 – 11:00 PM
The Roxy
515 West 18th Street (just west of the High Line)
Buy Tickets Now

Please Note: The Florent / High Line Ball will be followed by a special event at the Roxy celebrating the return of legendary DJ Peter Rauhofer to this nightclub. Guests at the Florent / High Line Ball can purchase $25 wristbands for this special event during the Florent / High Line Ball without waiting in line outside. Long lines are expected.

Because of elaborate set-up requirements for the "Rauhofer Returns 2 Roxy" party, everyone will have to leave the Roxy between events. Florent / High Line Ball guests will gather informally at a nearby restaurant or bar before returning to the Roxy. If you have purchased a "Rauhofer Returns 2 Roxy" party at the Florent / High Line Ball, your wristband will allow you to re-enter when the later event starts without waiting in line.

Buy Florent / High Line Ball Tickets Now

Florent Morellet of Restaurant Florent was featured in last Sunday's New York Times, in an article called "City Planner Manqué Still Thinks Tall."

Read the New York Times article

White Columns Gallery presents a retrospective showcase of Restaurant Florent's 20 years in the Meatpacking District, focusing on the restaurant's countless celebrations, drag shows, Bastille Day performances, ever-popular food, and inspired politics over the last 20 years. The show will feature costumes, artifacts, photographs, video, reminiscences, reviews, menus, artwork and graphic design. Curated by Tom Eubanks and Douglas Riccardi. 320 West 13th Street at Horatio Street. For more information, call (212) 924 – 4212.

Friends of the High Line is pleased to announce that co-founders Robert Hammond and Joshua David will be competing against each other in the Miss Meat Market Gown Contest. Robert's gown is by Jussara Lee. Joshua's gown is by Lucy Barnes. The Miss Meat Market crown will be awarded based on audience applause, so if you have a favorite co-founder, buy tickets now so you can cheer him/her all the way to Miss Meat Market fame and glory.

The co-founders will face fierce competition from High Line design team members at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who are dressing a contest entrant, as well as entries from other noted designers from the Meatpacking District and across the city, including: David Dalrymple for House of Field, Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg, Astrid Brucker, Dori O'Day, and Parrish for Destination.

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