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Friends of the High Line Newsletter

October 19, 2009

Photo courtesy Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography.

Major Milestone for the High Line's Preservation at the Rail Yards

Department of City Planning announces move toward public control of the High Line north of 30th Street

We just received word of an exciting development at the West Side Rail Yards. The Department of City Planning has announced that the City will initiate the process to allow it to acquire the High Line above 30th Street.

The City's decision to pursue the authority to acquire the High Line is a major step towards achieving our ultimate goals: full preservation of the historic structure north of 30th Street, including the 10th Avenue Spur, and completion of the High Line project all the way to 34th Street.

Read the full Press Release [PDF]

To understand the importance of this advance, it's helpful to remember that the City's 2005 acquisition of the High Line south of 30th Street was a crucial step in the preservation of that section. Similarly, we expect this action to lead ultimately to park construction on the northern end of the High Line.

Thank you for all your work in helping us get this far. This would have never happened without the tireless efforts of our High Line supporters. When the current planning process for the rail yards began over three years ago, many believed that the chances of preserving the High Line were slim to none. You came out to countless public review sessions, developer presentations, and City Council hearings, spoke out, and wrote letters of support. Though there is still much work to be done before the High Line's future is secure at the rail yards, this announcement is a true victory for the High Line.

Special thanks also go to the Department of City Planning, especially Chair Amanda Burden, who has long recognized the value of the High Line to the rail yards site, to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose leadership reversed the City policy to demolish the entire High Line in 2002, to the City Council under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn, who has been at the forefront of this advocacy campaign, to United States Representative Jerrold Nadler, who has worked towards the High Line's preservation at the rail yards for decades, to Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, and all of our partners at Community Board 4 and Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee. Without the support of our elected and government leaders, the High Line's preservation at the rail yards would be an impossible dream. Thanks also to the Related Companies, the site's developer, for their recognition of the High Line's value and their work to integrate it into their plans for the site.

The process that begins with this announcement, and ends in the City's official right to acquire the High Line above 30th Street, will likely take several months. Along the way, there will be a number of opportunities for public comment, and we will be urging our supporters to once again show up to support the High Line. You will be hearing from us in the coming weeks about these next steps. We are confident that with your continued support, our hard work will result in the full preservation of this iconic part of New York City's industrial past.

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

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