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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

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

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.

Over 5,000 people attended the Kitchen High Line Block Party on Saturday, September 17th (see selected photos, below, courtesy of Tom Kletecka and Jessie Cohan). Our thanks go, first, to everybody at the Kitchen, our Block Party co-hosts. The Kitchen has supported the High Line project since day one, and it was a thrill to collaborate with them on an event that was so well attended and enjoyed by people from across the city.

Our thanks also go to FHL's dedicated crew of volunteers and the FHL-sponsored artists who worked so hard to create original and enjoyable projects and activities: Dahlia Elsayed (handmade High Line postcards); Michael de Feo (popcorn bags, block party t-shirts, tattoos, and mural); Tom Kletecka (photos in front of High Line backdrop), Gaspar Libedinsky and Haley Eber of What Will Throw Here (juggling), and k adorable (silkscreened High Line t-shirts). Housing Works generously donated the blank t-shirts that k adorable used for silkscreening. Please visit their new Housing Works Thrift Store at 245 West 10th Street (at Hudson Street); (212) 352-1618.

And special thanks to the events generous sponsors: IAC/InterActiveCorp and Chelsea Market.


October 8 and 9: High Line Viewing with Open House New York FREE
A rare chance to view the High Line up close, from a building directly adjacent to the High Line, as part of the third annual openhousenewyork weekend.

Viewing will take place from the loft gallery of the Phillips, de Pury & Company auction house, directly adjacent to the High Line. 450 West 15th Street, between 9th and 10th Aves. Saturday, October 8, from 11:00am to 4:00pm, Sunday, October 9, from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm.

Scheduled Presentations by Friends of the High Line will take place at Phillips, de Pury & Company (address above).

  • Saturday, 12:00 noon: High Line History
  • Saturday, 2:00 pm: Project Overview (project history and design)
  • Sunday, 12:00 noon: High Line Design (by design team members from Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro)
  • Sunday, 2:00 pm: Project Overview (project history and design)
New High Line Merchandise will be for sale for the first time at OHNY, including new FHL posters by photographer Joel Sternfeld and graphic designer Paula Scher ($10), and new FHL T-shirts, designed by Michael de Feo ($10).
  • October 14 – November 20: Creative Time's Exhibition The Plain of Heaven FREE Creative Time presents an international exhibition of works inspired by the High Line's upcoming transformation. Artists include Sol LeWitt, Trisha Donnelly, Gordon Matta-Clark and many others. The exhibition will be displayed in an out-of-use meat-packing plant at the High Line's southern terminus. 820 Washington Street, at Gansevoort Street. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, October 14 – November 20. 12 noon – 6:00 pm. Opening party: Friday, October 14, 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm. FREE. View the press release for more information.
  • October 20: Minetta Brook's High Line Project Benefit Dinner
  • New York arts organization Minetta Brook is teaming with artist Ann Hamilton and chef Alice Waters on a new program combining art, food, and the High Line's history as a transportation system for local agriculture. This benefit dinner (funds going to Minetta Brook) at Dia Center for the Arts on 22nd Street, will celebrate the beginning of this innovative and creative look at the way food and industry have shaped the High Line neighborhoods. Chef for the benefit dinner is Jonathan Waxman, whose acclaimed restaurant, Barbuto, is located at the southern end of the High Line District, on Washington Street and West 12th Street. (Waxman is featured prominently in the October 2005 issue of Gourmet magazine). More information about the project and the benefit can be found at To buy dinner tickets ($500), e-mail; or call (212) 431-7165.
  • October 22: Florent Ball & FHL Fall Benefit
  • Friends of the High Line joins with the Meatpacking District Initiative to celebrate the 20th anniversary of High Line district pioneer Restaurant Florent at Florent's Bi-Decade{nt} Ball and Miss Meat Market Gown Contest. Hosted by Ms. Flotilla DeBarge and Mr. Murray Hill. This promises to be an unforgettable FHL benefit, showcasing creative energy and great diversity of the High Line District. The Roxy, 515 West 18th Street. $150 tickets include open bar, a buffet with food from the Meatpacking District's best restaurants, and entertainment. You can also stay on for John Blair's regular Saturday Night party at the Roxy. To view online invitation and buy online tickets: Or call Friends of the High Line: (212) 206-9922.
  • October 31: Last Day of the High Line Exhibition at MoMA
  • MoMA's exhibition featuring images from Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro's preliminary design for the High Line will run for the rest of the month. Click here for details.

Please join the host committee for an unforgettable fall event: Friends of the High Line joins the Meat Packing District Initiative to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Restaurant Florent – Florent Morellet's pioneering restaurant in the Meat Packing District – by presenting the Florent Bi-Decade{nt} Ball & Miss Meat Market Gown Contest, at the Roxy, West Chelsea's legendary dance club, on Saturday, October 22, 7:00pm - 11:00pm. Masters of Ceremonies Ms. Flotilla DeBarge and Mr. Murray Hill will introduce a fantastic roster of performers, including the Butcher Queens, HRH Princess Diandra, and many others. Miss Meat Market gowns designed by David Dalrymple for the House of Field, Alexander McQueen, Theory, and many others. Tickets include open bar, food from Meat Packing District restaurants, and entrance to John Blair's Saturday night Roxy dance party, starting at 11:00pm.

Buy your tickets now (and join the host committee). To join the host committee (which closes Wednesday, August 31), you only need to buy one ticket at the early-price discount ($95) and invite your friends. The $95 early-price tickets are only available online until September 22. All tickets purchased after September 22 will cost $150. A major portion of the ticket price will be tax-deductible.

Florent Bi-Decade{nt} Ball & Miss Meat Market Gown Contest Benefiting Friends of the High Line & the Meat Packing District Initiative Saturday, October 22, 7:00 — 11:00 PM The Roxy 515 West 18th Street (Just West of the High Line) Buy Tickets and Join Host Committee