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On Thursday, November 18, at 7:30 pm, the auction house Phillips, de Pury & Company will hold a major contemporary art auction to benefit Friends of the High Line. Three days of public viewings have been scheduled for the 49 lots, which include contemporary photographs, paintings, and sculptures, curated by Edsel Williams:

Tuesday – Thursday, November 16-18
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Phillips, de Pury & Company
450 West 15th Street (near 10th Avenue)

View Auction Details

To register to bid at the auction, please contact Nicole Mucciolo in the bids department at Phillips, de Pury & Company:; (212) 940-1228.

If you have other questions or would like to request a catalogue, please contact FHL's development director, Juliet Page:; (212) 206-9922.

During the weekend of October 9-10, Friends of the High Line (FHL) introduced the High Line to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors as part of openhousenewyork, the program that provides public access to restricted sites across the city. Thanks to the hospitality of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, we were able to offer High Line viewings from a freight-train platform in a City-owned meat processing plant adjacent to the Line.

FHL thanks openhousenewyork, the City of New York, and our team of terrific volunteers for making these two amazing days possible. Interest in the High Line viewings was so great that the queue extended from Gansevoort Street to Little West 12th Street and around the corner. Over 2,000 guests viewed the Line – a mix of New Yorkers and national and international visitors. All the FHL staff members who worked the event found this tremendous show of enthusiasm very moving.

City Commits Over $43 Million; State and the Railroads Join City in Request For "Rail-Banking"; and Friends of the High Line & City Sign Contract for Master Plan Design Team

October 6, 2004 (New York, NY)—Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller today announced $43.25 million in capital funding to design and build a great, new public open space on the High Line, the unused elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side. The Mayor and Speaker along with Friends of the High Line (FHL) also announced the selection of a design team, led by landscape architecture firm Field Operations with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, to create the master plan for the High Line. Lastly, the High Line project took another vital step forward when the State joined the City in a legal filing seeking permission to transform the High Line into public space through the federal rail-banking program. City Planning Department Director Amanda M. Burden, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, FHL Co-Founders Robert Hammond and Joshua David, Actor & FHL Member of the Board of Directors Edward Norton, Field Operations Principal James Corner joined the Mayor and Speaker for the announcement on the High Line structure at 14th Street and 10th Avenue.

"These three developments are crucial to achieving a central goal of our administration: creating a beautiful new public amenity that will serve as the spine of vibrant neighborhoods on Manhattan's Far West Side and create new economic benefits in the years to come," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "As the City's population grows, we've got to become more creative in developing open space and the area along the High Line is a perfect illustration of that innovative thinking taking place in New York City."

"As one of the High Line's earliest supporters, I'm especially proud of the Council's vital role in driving this project forward," said City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. "The progress announced today, which includes over $35 million in funds from the Council, is essential to making the dream of the High Line become a reality."

"Today we're taking an important step forward to realize the full potential of the High Line," Governor George E. Pataki said. "Thanks to great cooperation at all levels of government, the High Line can now be transformed into a new open space for all New Yorkers to enjoy. I want to commend the Friends of the High Line for their enormous efforts to turn this out-of-use rail structure into a beautiful greenway which will enhance the West Side of Manhattan."

"What started as a grass-roots effort by a couple of local residents has now become a model partnership between the community, the City, the State, and the railroads," said Edward Norton, actor and member of FHL Board of Directors. "It's a great example of what's so amazing about New York. Citizens take up a cause, and not only do their leaders listen, but they actively work with them to create something necessary and beautiful—something as unique and spectacular as the city itself."

"We're investing in the City's future economic vitality at the same time that we build a great new park for future generations to enjoy," said Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond. "The transformation of the High Line is expected generate over $250 million in new real estate tax revenues over a twenty-year period. We are extremely pleased that the State and CSX have joined the City in its efforts to create one of the world's most innovative public open spaces. And we're certain that Field Operations, working with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, can define a vision for the High Line that will make it a global model."

Funding Commitments Enable Project to Move Forward
Today's new funding increases the City's commitment by $27.5 million for a total of $43.25 million over the next four years. The funds will pay for project costs such as planning, design, engineering, and construction. To complement the City's funding commitment, Congressman Jerrold Nadler has included $5 million for the High Line in the six-year federal transportation bill that is now moving through Congress. Senators Schumer and Clinton are working to supplement the $5 million while the bill is in the Senate.

Design Team Begins Master Planning Process
FHL and the City also announced today that a team led by the landscape architecture firm Field Operations, working with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, have been selected to create a master plan for the High Line. A Steering Committee of representatives from the City of New York and Friends of the High Line selected the Field Operations team after a six-month selection process. The process began in March of 2004, with an open Request for Qualifications, which drew 52 team responses. The field was narrowed to four finalist teams in May of 2004, and the preliminary selection of the Field Operations team was made in August of 2004.

The master planning process for the High Line will begin immediately; to engage public participation in the master planning process, a community input forum will be held on October 19th at 7:00 pm, at Metropolitan Pavilion, 110 West 19th Street. This will be the first of many public programs designed to ensure a high level of public participation in the planning process. To RSVP to the input forum, e-mail

The team selected by FHL and the City to design the High Line master plan is led by Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm based in New York City. The architecture firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro will partner with Field Operations in the master planning process. Horticulturist Piet Oudolf will guide the selection of plant materials employed in the High Line landscape.

"The High Line is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create one of the world's most spectacular public urban spaces," said Field Operations Design Principal James Corner. "Imagine a mile-and-a-half of surreal gardens in the sky, a linear stroll where time slows down and the spectacle of nature in the city is heightened to new levels of surprise and pleasure. And the High Line raises a host of extraordinary opportunities for new synthesis of ecology, art, urbanism, and urban culture."

"We're excited about re-tooling this distinctive piece of industrial infrastructure for post industrial use," said Elizabeth Diller, Architect and Principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. "We foresee a new paradigm from the intersection of visual culture, civic responsibility, and public policy in which dualisms such as nature/artifice will be dissolved."

"We are excited that we are able to apply an innovative use of zoning to ensure light, air and public access onto the future High Line," said DCP Director Amanda Burden, who also participated in the selection committee for the High Line design team. "By successfully integrating this important industrial artifact with an entirely new concept of open space, we are creating a future treasure that we can enjoy and that will create even greater value in this exciting West Side neighborhood and for the city as a whole."

"The adaptive reuse of the High Line will add a bold new dimension to the variety and quality of public open space in New York City," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The experience of walking through a park suspended over the hustle and bustle of the city streets will be second to none."

Federal Filing by State, Railroads, and City: A Powerful Push for Open Space Use
In one of the most significant developments to occur during the five-year High Line initiative, the State of New York, CSX Transportation and Conrail, respectively the current and former owners of the unused viaduct, and the City have filed a joint legal petition to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) transform the High Line into public space through the federal rail-banking program. Rail-banking, a process defined by federal legislation in 1983, allows rail easements across the country to be used as public open space. Over 12,000 miles of rail corridors across the country have been converted to rail-trails, many through rail-banking.

"We're pleased with the progress that has been made toward resolving the status of the High Line," said John P. Casellini, Regional Vice President of Public Affairs, CSX Corporation. "We look forward to our continued work with the City and State of New York to reach an agreement that will enable the line to be used for the public's benefit."

The City began the rail-banking process in December of 2002, when it petitioned the STB to grant a Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU) for the High Line. The issuance of a CITU would allow the City to negotiate with the railroads to open the Line to the public. The September 22nd filing adds crucial State and railroad support to the City's 2002 CITU request. The State of New York signed onto the filing through the Empire State Development Corporation. Both CSX Transportation, the Line's current owner, and Conrail, its former owner, signed on to the filing.

The High Line was built in the 1930s as part of the West Side Improvement Project, one of New York City's largest investments in transportation infrastructure. No trains have run on the structure since 1980. In 1999, neighborhood residents founded Friends of the High Line with the mission of converting the structure to an elevated public space – a greenway or promenade. In December of 2002, the City took the first step in converting the High Line to a public walkway through federal rails-to-trails legislation. Friends of the High Line is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1999 to preserve the High Line for reuse as an elevated public open space. Support for the project comes from hundreds of local residents, business-owners, and civic organizations, as well numerous elected officials. For more information on Friends of the High Line, please visit

Please Note: The High Line is currently private property, owned by CSX Transportation, and managed by CSX and the City. At this time, the site is not open to the public, and trespassers will be subject to prosecution.

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Many of you may have read articles in the press about the preliminary selection of the design team led by Field Operations, working in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, to create the High Line master plan. While the official selection has yet to be formally announced (we expect a formal announcement to be made shortly), we have scheduled our first public session to encourage public participation in the design process.

High Line Community Input Forum
Design Phase One
Tuesday, October 19, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Metropolitan Pavilion
110 West 19th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
RSVP by October 12 to or call (212) 206-9922

This will be your first opportunity to work directly with the design team, Friends of the High Line, and the City of New York on the design of a great new public space for our community. At the forum, you will meet representatives from the design team, and view their initial concepts. You will then be able to share your ideas to help guide the team as they continue their design work.

Special thanks to Metropolitan Pavilion for their donation of space for this event. For more information on Metropolitan Pavilion:

"Jane's New York", a weekly program that showcases unique New York City stories on WNBC TV Channel 4, is currently producing a one-hour special about the High Line. The program will include beautiful new footage of the High Line, interviews with FHL staff, City officials, historians, community residents, and many people involved with the High Line project. Please mark your calendars – it should be a great show.

"Jane's New York"
WNBC TV Channel 4
Saturday, October 30, 7:00 – 8:00 PM

Special thanks to CSX Transportation Inc. for permitting filming on the High Line, and to Alan Shmaruk, of the Manhattes Group, LLC, for permitting filming from 502 West 30th Street, a building currently for sale with spectacular views of the High Line. For more info, call the Manhattes Group, LLC, at (212) 334-4666.

For the second year, Friends of the High Line is working with openhousenewyork to introduce New Yorkers to the High Line. openhousenewyork works to bring the public to important city sites that are usually off-limits. This year, thanks to our partners at the City of New York, FHL will offer viewings of the High Line's elevated rail bed from a City-owned building in the Meatpacking District. While the High Line structure itself is still managed by CSX railroad, and we cannot actually bring people on the rail-bed itself, we will take visitors up through an out-of-use meat processing plant to a freight-car siding overlooking the Line, which is overgrown with meadow grasses and wildflowers. It's the first time we've ever been able to offer the general public such a close view of the mysterious wildscape atop the High Line. We hope you will visit us – and other openhousenewyork sites. Please note: Visitors will be accommodated on a first-come first-serve basis. All visitors will be asked to sign a release prior to entering the site. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children under 12.

Special thanks to the New York City Economic Development Corporation for making this site available to the public.

openhousenewyork High Line viewings
820 Washington Street (at the corner of Gansevoort)
Subway: A, C, E to 14th Street
Bus: M11, M14A, M14D
Saturday, October 9, 10am – 4pm
Sunday, October 10, 1pm – 4pm
For more information, visit and

Please note: The High Line structure is still privately owned; it is not open to the public at this time. Please do not trespass.

Today Nicolai Ouroussoff, the new architecture critic at the New York Times, made his Times debut with an article about the High Line and the design team selection process. FHL is honored that Mr. Ouroussoff chose to make the High Line the subject of his first column in the Times. We thank him and the Times for the continued attention they've brought to the High Line project.

In his article, Ouroussoff reports that FHL and the City have made a preliminary selection of a team to design the High Line master plan. Indeed FHL and its partners at the City have made a preliminary selection, but further discussions and negotiations must take place before the final selection can be formally announced. We expect that the official announcement will be made in mid-September.

FHL and the City also stress that a team is being selected at this point in the process – not a final design. The proposals of each of the four finalist teams illustrated their proposed approaches to the High Line, but the master plan itself will be developed in close consultation with the surrounding community and the public at large throughout fall and winter 2004-5. The first public design meetings will be announced at the same time that the official team selection is announced, in mid-September. All updates about the design process as it moves forward will be distributed via this e-mail newsletter.

Read the August 12th New York Times Article.

FHL supporters who've never seen the Promenade Plantée – the elevated rail structure in Paris that was converted to a park during the 1990s – should make a point of going to "Before Sunset", starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, now in theaters nationwide. A significant portion of "Before Sunset" was shot at the Promenade Plantée. This popular Parisian park is a vivid example of the feasibility and desirability of reusing elevated rail infrastructure as public open space. It shows how access systems can be created; how safe, secure, beautiful public environments can be designed for elevated rail beds; and – most importantly – that parks on elevated rail structures will be well-used by residents and visitors. View more about "Before Sunset". View more about the Promenade Plantée on FHL's Web site. View more about the Promenade Plantée from its Web site.

FHL is pleased to announce the launch of its new, completely redesigned Web site, created by Robert Greenhood, of Greenhood & Company, with support from FHL's administrative assistant Scott Dubois. It's a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in the High Line, containing detailed history of the High Line and FHL, compilations of design ideas from FHL's 2003 ideas competition, compilations of visual material from the 2004 design team selection process, archives of recent press, archives of past FHL E-Mail Newsletters, photographs, and many other materials.

View the redesigned

4 Teams 4 Visions, the exhibition of the four finalist teams and their design approaches to the High Line master plan, has been extended. It will now close on Thursday, September 2 (instead of August 14, as originally scheduled). FHL extends its gratitude to the Center for Architecture for providing a home for this important exhibition.

Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place (between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets)
New York, NY 10012
Exhibition Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm; Sat, 11am-5pm