On Tuesday, May 8, more than 100 High Line supporters turned out to a public meeting on the future of the West Side Rail Yards. As you may know, the rail yards section of the High Line (from 30th to 34th Street) is threatened with demolition, even as the southern, railbanked section (from Gansevoort to 30th Street) is under construction as a new park.
Design guidelines presented by HYDC Tuesday night showed an option (left) with the historic High Line preserved along 12th Avenue and an option (right) with the structure torn down and replaced with an extension of the platform over the tracks.
The big news of the night: the MTA, which owns the rail yards, announced for the first time that it supports the goal of preserving the High Line structure, if doing so does not present major unforseen costs or obstruct construction on the site. This marks a major advance in our efforts to preserve the High Line at the rail yards, but it does not mean that the future of this part of the High Line is secure. Friends of the High Line must continue to work in upcoming weeks and months to ensure that the entire historic structure of the High Line is preserved at the rail yards. If you are interested in volunteering to help us in this effort, email donate online
The larger purpose of the May 8 meeting, which was hosted by the Hudson Yards Development Corporation
(HYDC) and Community Board 4
was to publicly present, for the first time, design guidelines for the site, created by HYDC.
Download the design guidelines.
In May or June, the MTA will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), and developers will begin to assemble plans and bids. The presence of so many of FHL's supporters made a big impact on Tuesday night. Thanks to all who attended. Thanks also to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who spoke at the meeting and voiced his strong support for preservation of the High Line at the rail yards.
Today, Crain's New York Business
ran an article in which sources argued that the High Line should be demolished at the rail yards because it would "impede development," citing reasons that Friends of the High Line has already investigated and disproved. For instance, it was asserted that the High Line would make it difficult for builders to bring cranes to the site. Our expert consultants have studied this question and found that even the largest cranes can fit under the High Line. In a future email newsletter, we will offer our response to each of the arguments presented in today's Crain's article (available to online subscribers). Our assessments show that the High Line creates no major cost obstacles to building at the site and that there is currently no credible rationale for its demolition.
Links to several media reports are below. The articles are varied in their focus and in their level of optimism about the High Line's future. As you can see, this is a complex and sometimes confusing issue, and we welcome your questions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions or concerns.
Read the New York Post article
Read the New York Sun article
Read the New York Observer article
Read the Real Deal article
Watch our email newsletter for further updates around this important issue.