Friends of the High Line
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Groundbreaking on the High Line at the Rail Yards!

Today marks an incredible milestone for the High Line. Earlier today we joined our elected officials, some of our supporters, and local students for a groundbreaking ceremony on the third and final section of the High Line at the Rail Yards.

Today’s event was a ceremonial moment to celebrate the start of construction, which will officially begin next month. To mark to occasion, we joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and students from the Clinton Middle School in Chelsea to toss native grass and wildflower seeds into the air and onto the High Line at the Rail Yards. The existing, self-seeded landscape will be preserved in the design of the High Line’s final section.

The design for the High Line at the Rail Yards reflects public feedback gathered during recent community input meetings. The final section will include familiar elements like the iconic “peel-up” benches, intimate overlooks, and meandering pathways. It will also feature new elements like a designated play area for children, new bench typologies, and an interim walkway wending through the existing landscape of self-seeded wildflowers and grasses.

View map, groundbreaking photos, and design renderings for the first phase

Construction will proceed in three phases, with the first phase projected to open to the public in 2014, extending the park to the northern terminus of the elevated rail structure at West 34th Street.

Many people in both the public and private sectors have helped make this historic moment possible. We would like to thank our elected officials Mayor Michael Bloomberg; the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn and her predecessor Gifford Miller; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as our former Senator and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Congressman Jerrold Nadler; Governor Andrew Cuomo; State Senator Tom Duane; State Assembly Members Richard Gottfried and Deborah Glick; our partners at Manhattan Community Boards 2 and 4; our visionary philanthropic leaders Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and Donald Pels and Wendy Keys; Related Companies, Oxford Properties Group, Coach, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for its partnership in opening the High Line’s final section; CSX Transportation, Inc. for donating the High Line structure to the City of New York; our Board Chair John Alschuler and Board members, and finally, the hundreds of neighbors, supporters, volunteers like you who have dedicated time, and energy to our efforts to save the entire High Line and transform it into an extraordinary public park.

We still have more work to do to fund the estimated total $90 million cost of building the High Line at the Rail Yards. We are grateful to the Bloomberg administration and New York City Council for contributing $10 million toward capital construction, as well as Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group for committing to provide $27.8 million in funding toward the capital construction of the High Line at the Rail Yards, as well as additional funding for the park’s ongoing maintenance, as part of their development of Hudson Yards.

Friends of the High Line has committed to raise $20 million in funding from philanthropic sources to support the cost of building the High Line at the Rail Yards. We’ll need your continued support as we move forward with construction and continue our efforts to build an endowment for the High Line’s future.

Nevertheless, today is a day for celebration. It marks a new high point in the 13 years of advocacy for the High Line, as we take the first step toward completing the final section of the High Line. We hope you share our joy in this event, and we thank you for all your support in getting us here.

Rail Yards Weekends: Walk the High Line’s Final Section

Take advantage of a special opportunity to explore the final section of the High Line. With construction starting on the rail yards section, this is your final opportunity to see the site before it is transformed into an extension of the High Line park.

The High Line at the Rail Yards is currently closed to visitors, but we will be opening the gates for you to explore the site during the first two weekends in October. We’ve opened the rail yards to the public for openhousenewyork weekend in years past, and this year, UNIQLO has helped to extend this popular weekend of tours to two weekends and twice as many opportunities to explore.

We’re grateful to UNIQLO for continuing to support the maintenance and operations of the High Line in the second year of their partnership with Friends of the High Line. In celebration of the partnership and the one year anniversary of the opening of their 5th Avenue global flagship store, UNIQLO will be providing visitors to the Rail Yards Weekends with a gift from their Heattech line.

Get dates, times, reservation details, and more information

Tonight: Free Screening of Working Girl at the High Line

Our free fall film series High Line Movies: 80s New York concludes tonight at 7:00 PM with Working Girl, the 1980s classic featuring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, and Sigourney Weaver.

Get location and more details

All Aboard!, a 30-minute compilation of iconic train moments throughout cinematic history, will be screened at 6:30 PM, right before Working Girl begins.

Come early to enjoy a snack or meal from our food vendors before the films start. There are tacos, hot dogs, salads, meatball subs, gelato, and more on the High Line, between West 15th and 16th Streets.

Teachers: High Line Field Trip Bookings Are Underway

Teachers, we are now booking 75-minute guided field trips at the High Line during this school year. Bring your class to the High Line to learn about New York City’s native ecology, the High Line’s unique history, and the one-of-a-kind architectural design.

We have recently re-designed the field trips to have stronger connections to New York State standards, added cool historic maps, photos, and artifacts, and created new, fun scavenger hunts and hands-on activities.

Learn more about our redesigned curriculum

Request a guided field trip

High Line Events & Happenings

Our signature fall fundraiser, in collaboration with Tom Colicchio of Colicchio & Sons, brings together some of the city’s best chefs for an evening of food and drink in benefit of the High Line. Buy tickets

Check out plans for the world’s first underground park! The new Lowline exhibit runs through Thursday, September 27 at Essex Street Warehouse on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Details

Get a behind-the-scenes look at High Line Art with Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art Cecilia Alemani. Buy tickets

Urban naturalists Leslie Day and Trudy Smoke help you discover native species of trees on the High Line and in New York City. Buy tickets

Delve into the fascinating history of meatpacking and food processing around the High Line with Eat the City author Robin Schulman. Buy tickets

What happens when hundreds gather at a communal table in a restaurant without walls on the High Line? Join us to find out. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, October 1. Get details

We are now accepting applications for full- and part-time positions at Friends of the High Line. View the list of the available positions and download the job descriptions.

Highlights from the Web

Here are the past few weeks’ most popular items from the High Line Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

High Line Blog
Photos: Jennifer West’s High Line Art Performance.

Check is out! Diane von Furstenberg’s exclusive collection for the High Line.

Fall is upon us: the showy goldenrod are now blooming on the High Line.

Help Bring the Rail Yards to Life

The High Line at the Rail Yards presents an incredible opportunity. Once more, we will create a public open space that will transform how we see our city.

Yet groundbreaking also presents a significant challenge. During construction, Friends of the High Line remains responsible for more than 90% of the funding needed to care for the park that is already open to the public. That’s why we depend even more on friends like you during this exciting time. With a special one-time gift now, you will provide financial stability and security so we can work full speed to complete the rail yards and keep the entire park thriving.

Sustain the High Line as we work to open the rail yards. Donate now

Friends of the High Line
529 West 20th Street, Suite 8W
New York, NY 10011
(212) 206-9922

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The High Line is managed by a partnership between Friends of the High Line and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

Images from top to bottom: Barry Munger; Timothy Schenck; Joel Sternfeld, Courtesy Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York; 20th Century Fox; Daniella Zalcman; James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York.

UNIQLO is the Presenting Sponsor of the Rail Yards Weekends in October. Rail yards programs are generously supported by the New York Community Trust—LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund and Greenacre Foundation.

High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., with additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The High Line Schools Program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support comes from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, HSBC USA, N.A., and Johnson Family Foundation.

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