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FHL Newsletter
DECEMBER 23 , 2001


Dear Friend of the High Line,

Before we go into the good news we need to make an end of the year appeal for donations. We are grateful all the support we received this year that enabled us to accomplish so much. We also have financial needs for 2002 – continuing legal costs, the February exhibit at the Municipal Art Society, the soon-to-be-announced Design Competition, and regular operating expenses. Please consider making an end of the year donation. FHL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are fully tax deductible. Checks should be made out to: Friends of the High Line, P.O. Box 1469, Old Chelsea Station; New York, NY 10113-1469 or call 212-228-6947 ext. 3 to make donations using your credit card. See end of email for form you can mail or fax.

Another way to contribute to the High Line is to purchase one of Joel Sternfeld's gorgeous, signed, 11" x 14" Ektacolor limited-edition High Line print, accompanied by a signed copy of his just-published book, "Walking the High Line."

This is a limited edition print of twenty images, we only have a few more of the first ten prints offered at $1,000, the next five will be $1,500 and the remainder $2,000. All proceeds will go to Friends of the High Line; the purchases are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

HIGH LINE LEGAL VICTORY

Today the Honorable Judge Diane Lebedeff of the Supreme Court of the State of New York issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The order restrains the current Mayoral administration from signing a demolition agreement for the High Line until the next hearing date, which is January 8, 2002. Justice Lebedeff did agree to hear further augments from the opposition this Friday. We are very pleased with her decision and unless you hear from us otherwise on Friday, we will have succeeded in our first mission - preventing the demolition of the High Line in 2001. All High Line supporters should be proud of this accomplishment.

I want to give special thanks to our legal team Richard Emery, John Cuti, and Ilann Maazel. We also want to thank our co-plaintiffs: Chris Collins, Andrew Neuman and Louis Vetrone represented the New York City Council; C. Virginia Fields, the Manhattan Borough President was represented by her Deputy General Counsel, Leo Glickman. Thanks also to all the individual community members who signed on to our suit as petitioners.

2001 UPDATE

Your backing has been crucial to us in so many ways this year. FHL goes into 2002 with the support of Mayor-elect Bloomberg and the New York City Council, and with plans for a preserved, reused High Line featured prominently in Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields' proposal for redevelopment of the 30th Street Rail Yards.

Here are some other important steps you've helped us take in 2001:

MAYORAL SUPPORT: All six major mayoral candidates entered the autumn election supporting FHL. Mayor-elect Bloomberg included FHL in his parks platform and has since agreed to write an introduction to "Reclaiming the High Line," a planning study that FHL will be presenting, in cooperation with The Design Trust for Public Space, at the Municipal Art Society in early 2002. AOL/Time Warner has donated the printing costs for the accompanying publication.

CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION No. 1747: In April, over a hundred supporters testified at City Hall in support of a resolution calling upon the mayor and governor to take all necessary steps to rail-bank the High Line. Testimony came from U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, numerous other elected officials, and organizations. The resolution was unanimously passed in July.

POLICY STRATEGY: "The Future of the High Line," a panel discussion in the Public Space Makers series, featured Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Chairman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Charles Shorter, of Ernst & Young Cap Gemini. Both spoke eloquently about the High Line's potential and offered creative strategies for developing financially viable reuse plans.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: FHL participated in street fairs, held community input sessions at the Kitchen, and made numerous presentations at block associations, civic groups, and community board meetings.

FOUNDATION SUPPORT: In 2001 FHL received grants from The J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Merck Family Fund, the New York City Council, and a host of charitable funds.

FUNDRAISING: Our summer benefit and art auction was a great success, thanks to supporters like you.

PRESS: In 2001, the effort to preserve and reuse the High Line was covered in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Daily News, Fortune, Art in America, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications.

FHL'S FIRST OFFICE: The Neighborhood Preservation Center welcomed FHL into a low-cost office program designed for seedling, not-for-profit organizations. FHL hired its first paid, part-time employee in June.

WEBSITE: www.thehighline.org, was launched, featuring news updates, photos, maps, and historical information.

We are still in court, battling to save the High Line, and our funding needs are more pressing than ever. If you are currently making year-end donations, we hope you will consider helping us win this fight. If you'd prefer to help in other ways, we also have other specific funding goals you might be interested in.

2002 PROJECTS

PLANNING STUDY: February 2002 will see the exhibition and publication of our planning study, "Reclaiming the High Line", produced in partnership with the Design Trust for Public Space. The Municipal Arts Society will host the exhibit with the opening scheduled for February 6, 2002.

DESIGN COMPEITION: FHL will sponsor a design competition in 2002, which will use "Reclaiming the High Line" as a base. Details will be announced at the February 6 event.

With gratitude and best wishes,
FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE

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