FOUR FINALIST TEAMS SELECTED FOR HIGH LINE MASTER PLAN
Proposals on Display at the Center for Architecture from
July 15 through August 14
May 28, 2004—Friends of the High Line (FHL) and the City of New York announced today that four teams of renowned architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, and other professionals have been selected as finalists to create a master plan for the High Line, an elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side.
"Transforming the High Line into a unique and accessible elevated park will be one of the most important things we will do for future generations in New York City," said Amanda M. Burden, Chair of the City Planning Commission. "The team we choose must be of a caliber that matches that important task. Fortunately, we are selecting from among the finest minds in architecture and landscape design, whose team submissions demonstrate the creative vision necessary for this project. I am thrilled to be taking part in selecting these talented finalists."
Each team is led by an architecture firm, a landscape architecture firm, or multiple firms joined in collaborative leadership. Below, team leads and principal consultants, in alphabetical order. Full team listings can be found at the end of this document:
Team Visions on Display at the Center for Architecture July 15 – August 14
The design approaches of the finalist teams will be exhibited at the Center for Architecture starting Thursday, July 15, when an opening night panel discussion will be moderated by Rick Bell, Executive Director of AIA New York Chapter. The exhibition will run through August 14.
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012
Open Monday through Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday, 11am to 5pm
Team Selection Process
The process of selecting a design team for the High Line master plan began on March 1, 2004, when the City of New York and FHL jointly issued a Request for Qualifications, eliciting 52 responses. A short list of seven teams was announced on April 20, and these short-listed teams received a two-stage Request for Proposals (RFP). On May 27, a Steering Committee of City and FHL representatives selected the four finalist teams based on their responses to the first stage of the RFP.
The four finalist teams will submit responses to the second stage of the RFP in early July. Those responses will include visions for the High Line as a whole, and they will specifically address access systems, the High Line's interaction with neighboring buildings, and treatment of the structure's underside and its relation to the street. This work will be the focus of the July 15 – August 14 exhibition at the Center for Architecture. It will also inform the final team selection, which will be made later this summer.
"It's important to emphasize that we're selecting a team through this process, not a final design or master plan," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line. "Once selected, the team will work with the community, FHL, the City, and all other interested stakeholders to develop the master plan."
Recent Funding Progress
On March 25, Congressman Jerrold Nadler included $5 million for the High Line in the House version of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), the six-year federal transportation bill. The bill must still go through a House and Senate conference process and be signed by the President.
Earlier this year, Senators Schumer and Clinton and Congressman Nadler secured $500,000 for the High Line in the 2004 Transportation Appropriations bill. In July 2003, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million commitment in capital funds for the High Line's conversion to public open space. In Fall 2003, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried announced a $50,000 High Line allocation.
The High Line, a 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side running from 34th Street to Gansevoort Street, was built in the 1930s to remove freight trains from City streets. It has not been used for rail freight since 1980. In December, 2002, the City petitioned the federal board with jurisdiction over the Line to convert it to an elevated pedestrian walkway and public open space.
In 2003, Friends of the High Line sponsored "Designing the High Line," an open, international ideas competition. 720 entrants from 36 countries submitted ideas, many of which were exhibited at Grand Central Terminal in July 2003.
"The team selection process for the master plan is very different from the ideas competition," said Hammond. "The competition was to generate exciting, visionary ideas, but those ideas didn't have to be buildable or make economic sense. The process we're going through now will lead to a design for the High Line that is as spectacular and unusual as the High Line itself—a design that can be built and maintained so that this great new amenity stays beautiful and compelling in the decades ahead, a retreat that New Yorkers will want to return to again and again."
For updates on the design team selection process and all other news related to the High Line, please go to http://www.thehighline.org and subscribe to FHL's E-Mail Newsletter.
Complete Listings of Finalist Team Members
Joshua David, FHL, (212) 206-9922;
Meghan Dotter, RF/Binder, (212) 994-7552;