Judge rules against demolition plans for New York's historic
Story by Elizabeth Brennan / Mar.
|Lower Manhattan's High Line (Joel
The Friends of the High Line are "cautiously optimistic"
that theyll be walking their dogs and taking evening
strolls along the elevated rail structure on the West Side
of Manhattan soon.
Yesterday, a New York state supreme court judge ruled that
the citys Surface Transportation Boards plans
to demolish the High Line, "undertaken in violation
of lawful procedure," must undergo a review
The judges ruling responded to a lawsuit filed last
December by the New York City Council, Manhattan Borough
President C. Virginia Fields, six Chelsea residents, and
Friends of the High Line.
"Our mission is to preserve and reuse public space,"
says Robert Hammond, Friends
of the High Line cofounder and Greenwich Village resident.
"Rarely do you have the opportunity to have so much
open space that passes through three different neighborhoods."
The 1.45-mile-long stretch of track runs from 34th Street
along the Hudson River through West Chelsea into the Meatpacking
District. The High Line was built in the 1930s to elevate
dangerous railroad traffic above city streets like 10th
Avenue, which was known as "Death Avenue."
Friends of the High Line, along with the Design Trust for
Public Space, released a 12-month study in early February
outlining the High Lines potential for reuse.
A host of prominent supporters, including New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.),
and actor Kevin Bacon, support the groups plans to
transform it into a trail. Hammond estimates the cost at
$40-60 million; a feasibility study is under way.