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Friends of the High Line Newsletter

June 4, 2009

Section 1 of the High Line to Open Tuesday, June 9


After ten years of advocacy, planning, and construction, the High Line is opening. Section 1 of the High Line (from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street) will open Tuesday, June 9, offering visitors the chance to preview the park, which is still under construction. Friends of the High Line thanks all the community partners, donors, volunteers, members, elected officials, and other supporters who've made this historic day possible.

Please note that access to the High Line will be limited during June. To ensure public safety during the first days and weeks that the High Line is open, visitors on the High Line will flow from south to north. Please plan on entering the park at the Gansevoort Street access point, unless you are in need of an elevator. Elevator service is available at 16th Street, with another elevator opening in July at 14th Street. You may exit the park at any of the access points (Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th Streets).

The High Line as a whole is still a construction site: Section 2, from 20th Street to 30th Street, is just entering its landscape construction phase. We ask that all visitors in this inaugural season observe a few guidelines, so the park can be enjoyed by all.

High Line Hours and Rules

The High Line will be open daily from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. We encourage you, if possible, to visit the High Line at times of anticipated slower use, such as early mornings and weekdays.

Regular New York City Parks rules apply for the High Line. Because of space limitations on the High Line, and the fragility of the new park landscape, we need your help. Please stay on the pathways and keep off the gravel. Though the gravel looks like a walking surface, walking on it will damage the new plants. Dogs are currently not allowed on the High Line due to the limited area of the pathways and the fragility of the new plantings.

Visit our Web site for a complete list of park rules.

Ongoing Construction Work

The High Line is a park in progress. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and Friends of the High Line wanted visitors to be able to enjoy the park as quickly as possible, but construction and horticulture work will be ongoing during the park's inaugural summer. Please respect this construction activity, including any areas marked temporarily off-limits.

High Line Greeters

We've enlisted a special corps of trained volunteers, our High Line Greeters, to help out on the High Line during our opening season. Greeters will be stationed throughout the park, and can answer questions about the park including location of all park features. You will be able to identify these greeters by their High Line logo T-shirts.

For more information, please call our Park Information Line: (212) 500-6035

For media inquiries, please email contact Jody Fisher at Rubenstein Communications: (212) 843-8296, jfisher@rubenstein.com


$20 Million in New Gifts From the Diller - von Furstenberg Family Foundation and Philip and Lisa Maria Falcone

As if opening was not enough good news, the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation recently announced a $10 million challenge gift to Friends of the High Line's capital campaign.

When the gift was announced at a capital campaign event hosted by Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, longtime supporters Philip and Lisa Maria Falcone were so moved by the Diller - von Furstenberg Family Foundation's generosity, they anounced that they plan on matching the gift with a $10 million gift of their own.

Read the New York Times Article

Why we still need your help: Some people read about these amazing gifts, and they think their own small donations are no longer needed. Just the opposite: We need the support of every Friends of the High Line member and donor more than ever. The $20 million in new gifts go almost entirely to our capital campaign — these funds help build the High Line and create an endowment. The funds can't be used to fund our annual operations budget — paying gardeners, maintenance workers, and other staff for the park.

As part of its license agreement with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Friends of the High Line is charged with raising the majority of the funds for the High Line's maintenance and operations.

Your gifts through our membership program, benefit support, foundation grants, and individual giving are what allows us to hire the staff to keep the High Line beautiful. We need your support to meet our maintenance obligations in the High Line's historic opening year. No gifts too small. Thank you for your continued support.


Save The High Line At The Rail Yards: Western Rail Yards Public Hearing, June 10

On Wednesday, June 10, we need your support at a Community Board 4 public forum on the Western Rail Yards. Even as we open the first section of the High Line as a public park, one-third of the structure still has an uncertain future, and may be partially demolished. Come help us show the City, developer, and the MTA that the preservation of the entire historic High Line must be made a priority at the Rail Yards.

Related, the developer working on plans for the site, will present to the Community Board their proposal for zoning changes to the Western Rail Yards. The Community Board will then make a recommendation based on public comment. The public event is part of the public review process (ULURP, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) that zoning text changes must go through before they are ultimately approved by the City.

Save the High Line at the Rail Yards

You do not have to speak, but if you would like to, please let us know. For those of you who have red Save the High Line at the Rail Yards T-Shirt, please wear them. Thanks to everyone who has attended Rail Yards events in the past — throughout this long process, it remains crucial that we consistently show how much support there is for the High Line's preservation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2009
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
at 6:00 PM
Fulton Center Auditorium
119 Ninth Avenue
Between 17th and 18th Street



What We Are Asking For

There is still no legally binding requirement that the High Line be preserved at the Rail Yards, and Related’s proposed changes do not secure the future of the entire High Line. The Western Rail Yards ULURP provides a key opportunity for the City to take steps to preserve the High Line. Specifically, the City can and should take ownership of the High Line at the rail yards, as it did with the portion below 30th Street.

City aquisition of the High Line requires ULURP, so it makes sense to include this action in the Western Rail Yards ULURP, which has already begun. We will be asking the Community Board to reject the proposed zoning changes unless City acquisition and full preservation of the historic High Line are included.


June 15: Opening Summer Benefit and First Party on the High Line

Tickets and tables are still available for our Opening Summer Benefit on Monday, June 15

Along with celebrating the Opening Summer of the High Line, we’ll honor dynamic individuals who have helped turn the dream of the High Line into reality: Lisa Maria and Philip Falcone and Edward Norton. The evening will begin with a dinner at Chelsea Piers, followed by the first major celebration on the High Line following the park's opening, presented by Calvin Klein Collection.

Dinner ticket prices start at $1,000 each (limited number available). Tables are available starting at $15,000.

Tickets are available online at www.thehighline.org/events/summer-benefit

For more information, please contact Alicia King at (212) 206-9922 or alicia.king@thehighline.org


Presenting the Target High Line Street Festival - Sunday, July 12

Join us on Sunday, July 12 for the Target High Line Street Festival — a free, fun-for-the-whole-family party celebrating the opening of the first section of the High Line. The occasion will also mark the 10th Anniversary of Friends of the High Line and the 75th Anniversary of the High Line itself.

The festival will feature internationally-acclaimed artists, inflatable sculptures, cowboys, story-tellers, marching bands, swing bands, salsa bands (some on a roof-top stage), and an exciting array of hands-on activities including a special Target “Hi from the High Line!” photo postcard experience for kids of all ages.

With a focus on sustainability, the festival brings together some of the healthiest and tastiest foods for a special greenmarket. While there, it will be hard to miss the World’s Largest Lemonade Stand, with well over a thousand gallons of fresh lemonade blended inside a specially-designed rooftop water tank. Children can also enjoy a live reading of Peter Brown’s bestselling, High Line-inspired children’s book The Curious Garden. Come join us to celebrate the historic opening of the High Line.

Many thanks to Target for making this event possible.


Target High Line Street Festival
Sunday, July 12, 2009
12:00 Noon – 5:00 PM
On Gansevoort Street
Between Ninth Avenue and Washington Streets


New High Line Web Site

To coincide with the opening of the first section of the park, Friends of the High Line has launched a new version of www.thehighline.org, the official Web site of the High Line and Friends of the High Line. We've also updated the look of our Email Newsletter.

Once the park is open, this site will be the go-to resource for all park information, including special events and programs, horticulture and construction news, photos and videos, and much more. The site includes new features like searchable Image Galleries with more than 1,700 images, and a New Design Mini-Site, featuring a virtual walkthrough of Sections 1 and 2 of the High Line.

Many thanks to Executive Producer Robert Greenhood of Greenhood + Company for all his hard work on the new Web site. Thanks also to Project Manager Ron Wilde, Designer Perry Garvin, Web Developer Colin Brumelle of Mixed Content, and Paul Jarvis of Two Thirty for coding. The High Line Design Mini-Site was built by Angelo Fabara and Adam Kell of Gelo Factory.


Art on the High Line

Spencer FinchRendering of "The River That Flows Both Ways" by Spencer Finch. Courtesy of the artist.

The opening of the first section of the High Line also marks the launch of our inaugural art installation in the High Line’s Chelsea Market Passage, part of a series Friends of the High Line is curating along with Creative Time and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. The piece, by artist Spencer Finch, is entitled The River that Flows Both Ways. Inspired by the light and water of the Hudson River, Finch transforms an existing series of windows with 700 individually crafted panes of glass representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over a period of 700 minutes on a single day.

The title of this work comes from the original Native American word for the Hudson River, Muhheakantuck, which means “the river that flows both ways.” To create the colors of the glass, Finch fastened a camera to the railing of a tugboat, and used an intervelometer to photograph the Hudson River 700 times, once a minute for 700 minutes. After recording the same moment in 700 different points in space and time, Finch carefully selected the exact color of a single point of each photograph to produce a uniquely printed film to be laminated into glass.

Finch’s piece is the first in a series of large-scale, site-specific works to be commissioned for the Chelsea Market Passage. This program was made possible through a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Cultural Innovation Fund.

Read the New York Times article on Spencer Finch’s piece.


Become a Charter Member

The High Line needs you! Your membership will provide critical operating support to ensure that the High Line lives up to the high standards we all hold for this innovative new park. Support from our members allows us to hire gardeners to keep the park’s flowers and trees in peak condition, and maintenance crews to ensure the High Line is safe for its visitors.

But to be recognized as a Charter Member, and as one of the visionaries who helped build this remarkable new landmark, you must join by June 30.

Don’t miss your chance to be a Charter Member


Don’t miss out on this historic opportunity to be a part of the High Line’s first season as a public park.

Click to Join

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