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Friends of the High Line Newsletter

September 8, 2009

Tomorrow: Public Hearing on the West Side Rail Yards

Photo courtesy Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography.

We hope you can join us in support of the High Line at this important public meeting. As the next step in the City's public review process for the Western Rail Yards rezoning, the City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on September 9 to get input.

This is a CRITICAL hearing. The rezoning will have a significant effect on the High Line, and changes can still be made which will have a positive impact on the High Line. There will be only one more public meeting prior to a final vote on this rezoning, so it is very important that we make a strong show of support at this point in the process.

Wednesday, September 9, 10:30 AM
22 Reade Street (Department of City Planning), Spector Hall

Subway: 1,2,3,A,C to Chambers Street, R,W to City Hall, 4,5,6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall

How things look for the High Line:

There is good news! Thanks to your continuous and strong support, there is now substantive language in the proposed zoning text that requires the High Line to be used as public open space. This is a significant victory — just remember that when the current development process for the rail yards began three years ago, few people thought the High Line had a chance. This zoning text lays the foundation for the completion of the High Line project on the site.

Unfortunately, this is only a partial victory, and our work is not yet done. First, the proposed zoning only covers the Western Rail Yards site — 1/3 of the entire Section 3 of the High Line. More importantly, however, there is still no clear plan for making the High Line actually happen. In order for the High Line to become a reality at the rail yards, the City must take steps to acquire the High Line from the railroad CSX Transportation, Inc. But until that happens, the High Line will remain in limbo and at risk.

What we're asking for:

• Save it: Most importantly, we must show the MTA and the City that the entire historic High Line, including the 10th Avenue Spur, must be preserved at the rail yards. The City must outline a concrete plan and a timetable for completion of Section 3 during the current rezoning process, including acquisition of the remaining portions of the High Line all the way up to 34th Street.

• Design consistency: The rezoning should require that the design of the High Line at the rail yards be consistent with the rest of the High Line park, so that a walk from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street is a unified experience.

• The last block: The development of the High Line must anticipate that the park will continue north, all the way to 34th Street.

The logistics:

The Western Rail Yards (WRY) is one of three significant items on the agenda for the day. City Planning has indicated that the earliest the WRY would be heard would be 10:30 AM. But it may be much later in the day. City Planning will be updating their Web site throughout the day on the 9th to give people an estimate of when each of the various hearings will begin. The updates will be available on the City Planning Web site.

It is critical that we have a strong showing for this hearing. Please let us know if you will be able to attend. If you come for the entire hearing, great! If you can only come for part of it, that's great too.

** If you have a red "Save the Spur" or "Save the High Line at the Rail Yards" T-shirt, please wear it!
We will have a limited number to give out on a first-come, first-served basis **

Please RSVP: railyards@thehighline.org

Recommended Background reading:

Western Rail Yards Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Recommendations from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (PDF)

Recommendations from Community Board 4 (5MB PDF)


September Programs

Gardener Andi Lawton points out a butterfly on the High Line during this summer's family program on pollinators.

Our opening season of programs was a great success, with more than 900 people participating in one of our free or low-cost public programs. Our fall programming will expand our lineup of weekly walking tours, family programs, horticulture talks, and more. In September, look for the debut of our new WELLNESS programs, with Yoga on the High Line.

Free Screening of Andrew Zuckerman's "Bird"
The short film, to be projected in a repeating loop, offers a rare opportunity to see birds separate from their habitats, in their purest form. Shot against white in high definition, the projection brings a modern approach to birdwatching in an urban environment.

Thursday, September 10, 7:00 - 11:00 PM
14th Street Passage, on the High Line
No RSVP Required
Read More

WELLNESS Program: Yoga on the High Line
Come practice Yoga in New York City's newest park with Nikki Costello in the Chelsea Market passage.

Saturday, September 12, 9:00 - 11:00 AM
10th Avenue Square, on the High Line at 17th Street
Members: $5.00
Non-Members: $10.00
Read More and RSVP

WALKING TOURS: Matthew Johnson
A tour of the High Line guided by Senior Associate of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Matthew Johnson.

Sunday, September 13, 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Members: $5.00
Non-Members: $10.00
Read More and RSVP

Edible Estates Garden Opening
The "Lenape Edible Estate: Manhattan" was planted in June and will officially open to the public on Monday, September 14. The opening will be accompanied by activities, talks, garden tours, native foods, corn shucking, a video premiere, and a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson to the island of Manhattan.

Monday, September 14, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
Hudson Guild
441 West 26th Street at 10th Avenue
No RSVP Required
Read More

GARDEN Programs: Garden Talk
Patrick Cullina, Vice President of Horticulture & Park Operations at Friends of the High Line, will discuss both regional and urban environments, how they inform the potential of urban horticulture, and the High Line project in particular.

Wednesday, September 16, 6:30 PM
RSVP Required
Read More and RSVP

WALKING TOURS: Friends of the High Line Horticulture Staff
Walking tour of the High Line with Friends of the High Line Horticulture Staff.

Sunday, September 20, 2:00PM - 3:00 PM
Members: $5.00
Non-Members: $10.00
Read More and RSVP

FAMILY Programs: Recycled Railroad - A Family Art Workshop with the Children's Museum of the Arts
Join The Children's Museum of the Arts for an evening of recycled art on the High Line. Teaching Artist, Agee Gliksman, will lead participants in an art workshops that highlights the High Line's railroad history. Open to all families and children ages 3 and up.

Thursday, September 24, 4:00 PM
RSVP recommended but not required. Walk-ins will be admitted until the program is full.
Read More and RSVP

FAMILY Programs: High Line Hunt
Join Dorothea Basile and ARTime to discover hidden secrets of the High Line including train tracks, mystery tunnels, and pinwheels.

Saturday, September 26, 11:00 AM
RSVP recommended but not required. Walk-ins will be admitted until the program is full.
Read More and RSVP

A tour of the High Line guided by Friends of the High Line Manager of Institutional Giving, Jeff Hafner.

Sunday, September 27, 2:00PM - 3:00 PM
Members: $5.00
Non-Members: $10.00
Read More and RSVP

ART Programs: Artist Spencer Finch Discusses 'The River that Flows Both Ways' and Other Recent Works
Artist Spencer Finch will discuss his installation on the High Line, The River That Flows Both Ways, as well as other recent works.

Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 PM
RSVP recommended but not required. Walk-ins will be admitted until the program is full.
Read More and RSVP

Friends of the High Line's programming is made possible with support from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation and Johnson Family Foundation.


High Line Schools Program

Students at Chelsea's PS 11 with their High Line Field Guides, part of the hands-on curriculum of our new Schools Program.

Friends of the High Line has expanded the opportunities available for teachers and students to experience the High Line through our Schools Program. We've created five new curriculum guides in different subject areas related to the High Line, for grades two through seven.

Each curriculum guide poses a question involving the High Line, and uses a subject area to help students answer that question:

Social studies: What can the High Line teach us about community activism?
English language arts: What can the author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" teach us about Chelsea?
Science: What can the High Line teach us about forces?
Math and arts: What can the High Line teach us about park design?
Arts: What can the High Line teach us about the Machine Aesthetic?

Educators can now download these curricula from our Web site, where they are broken down by grade level.

Friends of the High Line's curriculum guides were developed in collaboration with Jane Cowan, a specialist in built-environment education. These lessons are meant to be used as a guide to help students begin to explore different aspects of the High Line. Each individual teacher is the best judge of what is appropriate for his or her students and we encourage teachers to alter the material to best suit the needs of his or her students.

Beginning later this fall, Friends of the High Line will offer guided class visits for grades two through seven on the High Line. To receive more information, please email danya@thehighline.org.

Read More and Download the Curricula

Support for Friends of the High Line’s School Programs and online curriculum has been generously provided by the NYMEX Foundation.


New on the High Line Blog

Summer Programming Round-Up

Help Our Little Flickr Grow!

Even the New Yorker Knows the High Line is a Babe Magnet

Help Bees Help Us

Peter Obletz: The High Line's Original Friend


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.


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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