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Please save Tuesday, May 8, on your calendar. In an important public forum that evening (time and location to be announced), the Hudson Yards Development Corporation (HYDC) and the MTA will publicly present proposed design guidelines for the West Side Rail Yards, where one-third of the historic High Line structure is located.

The future of this part of the High Line (30th – 34th Streets, between 10th and 12th Avenues) remains unresolved.

The City secured the section below 30th Street in 2005, and Section 1 of the High Line is projected to open in 2008, thanks in large part to the leadership of the Bloomberg administration, which has engaged Friends of the High Line in a productive exchange.

But above 30th Street, the future of the High Line depends on how the MTA-owned rail yards are developed.

At the May 8 meeting, the public will see design guidelines for the rail yards for the first time. We hope High Line supporters will attend this important meeting.

Time and location details will follow in a subsequent email newsletter.

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The Chelsea Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project is now taking applications for its 8th season. The CSA brings afordable, locally grown, organic produce from Stoneledge Farm, in the Hudson Valley, to community residents. Community members join by signing up at the beginning of the growing season for a weekly share of vegetables or fruit (a vegetable share typically covers a family of 3 to 4, and shares may be split). Produce is delivered weekly for about 24 weeks to Hudson Guild. CSA members sign up for 2 to 4 volunteer shifts during the season. Members may also choose to subsidize a share for a low-income family in the community.

For 50 years, the High Line brought produce and other agricultural goods from upstate New York and the Hudson Valley to Manhattan's West Side. The CSA program re-establishes this vital connection between farm and city by allowing New Yorkers to buy their food directly from the people who grow it. FHL's staff is pleased to participate in the CSA program with the purchase of several shares for 2007. The Chelsea CSA is part of a city-wide CSA program supporting small organic farms and encouraging New Yorkers to eat locally. Information about CSAs in other neighborhoods can be found at www.justfood.org/csa.

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James Corner, landscape architect and urban designer, will give a free High Line design preview on May 14. Corner is the founder and director of Field Operations, the landscape architecture firm working with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the design for the High Line. This presentation is being held in conjunction with the High Line Festival, curated by David Bowie and running May 9 – 19.

RSVP is required.

High Line Design Presentation with James Corner
Monday, May 14
6:30 PM
Great Hall
Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue
RSVP


Please join us at one of two photography sessions for Friends of the High Line's Portrait Project. We are creating and publicly exhibiting portraits of High Line friends and supporters. Photographer Tom Kletecka will photograph High Line supporters in front of a Joel Sternfeld High Line background, as he has at several of our past events. Portraits will then be displayed around the High Line neighborhood, mounted to the construction fencing surrounding nearby developments. Portraits will also be archived on a special Web site and possibly used in a publication. Each participant will receive a copy of his or her portrait to keep.

Please RSVP to rsvp@thehighline.org.
To help us avoid long lines, be sure to include the time you're planning on coming.

Friday, March 9, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Community Space, Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets)
Subway: A, C, E, or L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue

Saturday, March 31, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Hudson Guild
Dan Carpenter Room, 2nd Floor
441 West 26th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Subway: C or E to 23rd Street and 8th Avenue

This project has been made possible by Fujifilm USA.

EnlargeGordon Matta-Clark's "Day's End, 1975,"
two chromogenic color prints from his
retrospective at the Whitney.
On Tuesday, March 27, Whitney exhibition curator Elisabeth Sussman will take supporters of Friends of the High Line on a behind-the-scenes tour of the current retrospective of the work of artist Gordon Matta-Clark. This private tour will start at 7:00 PM and last about an hour.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to rsvp@thehighline.org

From the March 3 New York Times review:

In "Day's End," (photos above) Matta-Clark cut a big, eye-shaped opening in the back wall of a warehouse along the West Side piers in Manhattan (a favorite S&M haunt in the 1970s), allowing a blazing light to spill into the cavernous interior. In one of the most striking images of this project, the cut-out portion is suspended by chains in the warehouse space, giving a powerful impression of its weight and scale.

About the Exhibit:
During the brief but highly productive ten years that he worked as an artist, and even more so since his death, Gordon Matta-Clark (1943 – 1978) has exerted a powerful influence on artists and architects who know his work. This retrospective will bring together the breadth of his practice to reveal the unique beauty and radical nature evident in the many media in which he worked: sculptural objects, drawings, films, photographs, notebooks, and documentary material.

The Whitney Museum of American Art recently announced that it plans to establish a new contemporary art facility at the southern end of the High Line, at the corner of Gansevoort Street and Washington Street. Though the project must still go through a public review process, Friends of the High Line and the Whitney hope to develop collaborative programs in advance of construction.

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Some of you have asked us questions about the construction site at Washington Street, between Little West 12th Street and West 13th Street.

Q: Is this construction part of the High Line's transformation?
A: No, it's the start of a new hotel being developed by André Balazs, called The Standard.

Q: Will the hotel bridge over the High Line?
A: Yes, it will bridge over the High Line structure and its easement. But the space on the High Line underneath the hotel's bridge will remain open to the public, under the jurisdiction of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

Q: What allows this to happen?
A: When the High Line was built in the 1930s, it was designed to connect to buildings and to pass through building interiors. A 30-foot-high "box easement" had to be left for the trains to pass through. These connections and pass-throughs allowed trains to load and unload directly into warehouses and factories. You can see historic examples of this condition at Chelsea Market (between 15th and 16th Streets) and the former Cudahy meatpacking plant, on 14th Street.

Q: Can the High Line be bridged at any site up and down the Line?
A: No, bridging over the easement is forbidden north of 16th Street. This restriction was established as part of the 2005 rezoning of West Chelsea, which included numerous provisions to support the reuse of the High Line. South of 16th Street, the pre-existing manufacturing zoning remains, and thus bridging over the structure is still allowed. But the hotel site is the only privately owned site left south of 16th Street that is configured in a manner to allow this kind of construction to occur.

Q: How does Friends of the High Line feel about the High Line being bridged?
A: The High Line's interactions with surrounding buildings have always been one of its most interesting qualities. When the High Line opens to the public, the fact that the park will pass through building interiors will be one of its compelling attributes, differentiating it both from other City parks and other rail-banked trails, which generally run through rural areas. The pass-throughs at Chelsea Market and the Cudahy building are among our favorite spots on the Line. This kind of connectivity to the surrounding built environment will add interest and excitement to the new park, but we would not want to see the High Line bridged over at every site up and down the Line. Thus we are pleased that the West Chelsea rezoning forbids it north of 16th Street and that no other private sites remain south of 16th Street where the High Line can be bridged.

If you have questions or comments about this project, please email them to us at info@thehighline.org.


Michael Bradley joined the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation as High Line Project Administrator in November 2006. The first Parks Department employee assigned exclusively to the High Line, Michael oversees coordination and completion of the park's design and construction and directs the planning for maintenance of the park after its opening.

The High Line is Michael's third major New York City park project. For six years before he joined the Parks Department, he was executive director of the Riverside South Planning Corporation, a not-for-profit civic organization established by several major city groups to develop and oversee the implementation of the master plan for Riverside South, the 75-acre former rail yard on the Hudson River. With the Riverside South developers and the Parks Department, he managed the design, permitting, and construction of the 27-acre privately-financed Riverside Park South, now half-completed. He also revived plans for the relocation of the elevated West Side Highway out of the park into a tunnel, persuading the City, State, and developers to partner on a long-term plan to build the tunnel, a portion of which is now under construction.

From 1994 to 2000, Michael was Vice President of Real Estate and Management and Operations at the Hudson River Park Trust, planning the 5-mile long waterfront park and building and operating its first sections. Prior to that he worked for the City Department of Citywide Administrative Services as a land-use planner for City-owned waterfront property in the Bronx. He attended Yale University and received a master's degree in urban and environmental planning from the University of Virginia.

We hope you will participate in a new FHL project to create and publicly exhibit portraits of High Line friends and supporters. Photographer Tom Kletecka will photograph High Line supporters in front of a Joel Sternfeld High Line backdrop, as he has at several past FHL events. Selected portraits will then be displayed around the High Line neighborhood, mounted to the construction fencing surrounding nearby developments. Portraits will also be archived on a special Web site and possibly used in a publication. Each participant will receive a copy of his or her portrait to keep.

The High Line shows that sometimes even the most unlikely dream can become a reality. Participants in the portrait project will be asked, "What's your dream?" Their answers will appear on the portraits.

Public photographic sessions will take throughout spring 2007. Upcoming sessions are listed below.

This project has been made possible by Fujifilm USA.

Please RSVP to rsvp@thehighline.org. To help us avoid long lines, be sure to include the time you're planning on coming. Please note, we expect many people to come during the lunch hour, so if your schedule allows, please come after 2:00 PM.

Friday, February 9, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Friends of the High Line office
430 West 14th Street, Suite 304 (at Washington Street)
Subway: A, C, E, or L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue

Thursday, February 22, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Public corridor, Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets)
Subway: A, C, E, or L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue

Saturday, March 31, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Dan Carpenter Room, Hudson Guild
2nd Floor
441 West 26th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Subway: C or E to 23rd Street and 8th Avenue

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Site Preparation construction on the High Line is moving forward on schedule. Approximately half of Section 1 has been sandblasted and painted with a primer coat (blue-gray color). Once the entire Section 1 has been primed, and steel and concrete repairs have been made, crews will return to apply the intermediate and final coats. The final coat (gray-black color) has been applied on one block (17th–18th Streets), so we can now begin to see what the rehabilitated and restored High Line will look like.

In addition to the sandblasting and painting, the Site Prep work includes repairs to steel and concrete. For example, concrete has been removed from the bases of many of the columns, and rusted rivets have been removed and replaced. Other work involves the installation of a new underside drainage system, and installation of bird deterrents – a simple sloped piece of metal that prevents birds from roosting.

The Site Prep contract will be complete this summer, to be followed by the construction of the new park landscape and access points.

View more construction photos.

Robert Moses
Three New York City institutions are joining to present a series of exhibitions and talks on the legacy of Robert Moses. Moses' connection with the High Line comes through his work on the West Side Improvement Project, which was well documented in The Power Broker by historian and FHL supporter Robert Caro.

The Museum of the City of New York will hold "Remaking the Metropolis" through May. Additionally, Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery is holding an exhibition called "Slum Clearance and the Superblock Solution," which runs through April 14, and the Queens Museum of Art holds a corresponding exhibition through May. The curator of all three exhibitions is Columbia University architectural historian Hilary Ballon.

Read the New York Times article.

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