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Ten Lasting Moments from 2018

December 14, 2018

2018 was one of our finest years yet. We have an exciting year ahead, but we’d hate to lose sight of all that we celebrated together. So, we’re looking back on our 10 favorite highlights from 2018.

1. Taking care of bees-ness

In 2017, we worked with entomologists at the American Museum of Natural History to survey native and wild bee populations on the High Line. With their recommendations, this year during our annual Spring Cutback we left certain species of plants in place to support nesting habitats in the High Line gardens for these important pollinators.

Learn more


2. Presenting provocative art

Our artwork took a stand on timely political issues: Andrea Bowers’ Somos 11 Millones/We Are 11 Million references the number of undocumented immigrants in the US, Pope.L’s chmera calls for reparations, and Dorothy Iannone’s I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door alludes to the poem engraved on a bronze plaque inside the statue at Liberty Island that promises freedom to immigrants to America.

Discover High Line Art


3. Breaking new ground

We made major headway with the construction of the Spur and Coach Passage, the newest sections of the park opening in April 2019. The full concrete walking surface and the majority of the large seating elements have already been installed. In spring, we planted nearly 58 trees to ensure they are thriving for the opening. We can’t wait to walk these next year!

See renderings


4. Having more fun

Our first ever Hat Party was a celebratory fundraising event unlike any we’ve done before—a night of dancing, cocktails, and a hat competition. Participants created millinery inspired by the High Line’s history, evolution, art, design, nature, food, and inclusive spirit.

Learn about the Hat Party


5. Inviting conversation

We welcomed over 17,000 attendees to our adult programs including our Out of Line series, which featured artists such as Yara Travieso and her sci-fi tour and galactic tragic myth. We also introduced B.Y.O, a new series with gatherings like Black Lunch Table hosted by artists Heather Hart and Jina Valentine. The artists led meaningful conversations about topics such as equity in the art world, gentrification, displacement, and food access with cultural workers who identified as part of the African Diaspora and members of the communities surrounding the High Line.

Discover our Public Programs


6. Collaborating with teens

As part of the High Line’s partnership with New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to lead Participatory Budgeting efforts in New York City Council District 3, we hosted the first ever PB Fest (Participatory Budgeting Festival) held in NYC! Our Teen Arts & Culture Council teamed up with local artists, groups, and collectives to plan 12 activities for the entire event to engage folks of all ages and backgrounds. We received very positive feedback and were proud to secure many votes for District 3’s PB process in just 3 short hours.

Learn about High Line Teens


7. Building community green space capacity

By end of year, we’ll have completed 12 infrastructure projects across 12 community gardens in the Melrose area of the South Bronx as part of our Community Parks Initiative work with NYC Parks and GreenThumb. Our planning and design staff worked with the volunteer gardeners of the Melrose community to collaborate on sustainable infrastructure projects unique to each garden’s needs and offered workshops to build on their interests and skills. Off-grid solar power, greenhouses, shade canopies and a pollinator garden were all completed in 2018, allowing gardeners to improve their capacity as gardens, gathering spaces, and cultural networks.

Learn more


8. Announcing Simone Leigh’s Brick House

In September we announced in the New York Times that Simone Leigh will present the inaugural commission for the High Line Plinth at the Spur at 30th St. and 10th Ave. The Plinth will be the first location on the park specifically dedicated to showcasing monumental works of art. Leigh’s sculpture, Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman, will tower over High Line visitors as an undeniable, and highly visible example of Black female representation. Keep your eyes, ears, and inboxes open for Brick House installation updates.

Learn more


9. Winning the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

Friends of the High Line was awarded the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design. The award was accompanied by an exhibition that provided a comprehensive timeline of our history and recreated the spatial and rhythmic experience of walking along the High Line. The prize committee chose the High Line based on our “unwavering commitment to improving the public realm through design excellence and for [our] capacity to continually reinvent the High Line in ways that support more inclusive public spaces—both in New York and across the globe.” Thank you, what an honor!

Learn more


10. Staging The Mile-Long Opera

We ended our 2018 programming season with a bang. Co-conceived by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and David Lang, and made in collaboration with nonprofit partners and communities across the city, The Mile-Long Opera was our biggest, most ambitious project to date. Thirty-eight choirs made up of 1,000 singers lined the entire length of the park. We gave away nearly 14 thousand free tickets to this immersive choral performance and, we’re sure, created just as many stories. We hope to continue such forward-thinking experiments as this in the years to come.

Learn more


Every year, the High Line creates unexpected experiences and unique stories for millions of visitors. We rely on members of our community to help ignite these opportunities. You make the High Line a place that’s shaping the future of New York; a place where everyone can encounter, engage, and enjoy innovative art, free public programming, natural gardens 30ft above the city streets, and an equitable public space.

Thank you for helping to make 2018 such an imaginative, and impactful, year.

Photo credits:
1. Steven Severinghaus; 2. Timothy Schenck; 3. Timothy Schenck; 4. Liz Ligon; 5. Liz Ligon; 6. Julieanne Prevete; 7. Liz Ligon, 8. James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro; 9. Timothy Schenck; 10. Liz Ligon; Timothy Schenck

Donate today

The High Line is almost entirely supported by people like you. As a nonprofit organization, we need your support to keep this public space free—and extraordinary—for everyone.