September 24, 2003 --
The city is ready to reveal its plans for the High Line, a 1.5-mile unused elevated railroad spur built 70 years ago to carry freight trains into Manhattan's West Side.
The Department of City Planning has scheduled a public meeting on Oct. 2 to discuss the environmental issues involved in the Chelsea rezoning plan. In the plan, the viaduct would be turned into a park from Ganesvoort Street to 30th Street.
Meanwhile, federal officials with the Surface Transportation Board are still going over the rail line's future. In 1992, the board sided with the Chelsea Property Owners group, which wanted to demolish the rusting structure.
The Bloomberg administration, which has sided with Friends of the High Line, a preservationist group, has filed papers for the city to take control of the line. Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, said that if the structure was saved, "it would create a High Line District, just like Gramercy Park. It would knit three areas together."