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FHL Newsletter
APRIL 8, 2002


On April 7, 2002, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that the City would undertake a four-month feasibility study of the potential reuse of the High Line as a public open space.

This is a very positive development for Friends of the High Line. The study will help the City determine whether to support the preservation of the High Line for public reuse through the federal "rails-to-trails" program or to pursue demolition, as proposed by small group of private property owners with real estate holdings beneath the High Line.

"Over the past several months, we have heard many competing arguments about the future of the High Line," said Mayor Bloomberg. "However, a careful analysis of the economic, land use and other implications of reuse versus demolition still needs to be done. For that reason, it makes good sense to take the time and effort to give the subject a close look, and to carefully consider the pros and cons of preservation and demolition before making a decision on this important issue."

The announcement follows a major legal victory for Friends of the High Line. On March 12, 2002, Honorable Justice Diane Lebedeff ruled that demolition plans negotiated during the final days of the Giuliani administration were "undertaken in violation of 'lawful procedure' and [were] an 'error of the law.'"

The City has retained Turner Construction to evaluate the structural integrity of the High Line. The study will be conducted by the consulting firm of Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. (HR&A), working in consultation with the Department of City Planning and the Economic Development Corporation. The study will determine the costs of rehabilitating the structure for use as a greenway and analyze the High Line's ability to enhance economic performance in the 1.45 miles of western Manhattan through which it passes.

"Friends of the High Line looks forward to working with the City to determine as completely as possible the benefits and costs associated with redeveloping the High Line," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line. "We believe that once the facts are presented, the benefits of reusing this invaluable piece of New York City history will be clear."

View a full copy of the press release from the Mayor's office.


The Future of the High Line
A Public Forum Sponsored by Community Board No. 4
April 25, 7:30 PM
Hudson Guild Fulton Center
119 Ninth Avenue, 17th-18th Street

YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED at this forum. Thanks to our recent legal victory, Community Board No. 4 will play an important role in determining whether the High Line is preserved for reuse as public open space. Please help us show Community Board No. 4 how the strong support for the preservation and reuse of the High Line really is. It's especially important that you come if you live and/or work in one of the two community boards through which the High Line passes: Community Board 4 (from 59th Street to 14th Street; west of 6th Avenue below 26th Street, west of 8th Avenue above 26th Street) or Community Board No. 2 (14th Street to Canal Street, east of 4th Avenue). PLEASE SAVE THE DATE AND COME OUT TO SPEAK!

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