Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The High Line Park, New York City

What should be done to abandoned 1930's elevated freight train tracks in a former industrial area of the West side of Manhattan? Turn it into a public park modeled after Paris' Promenade Plantée and name it the High Line! In 1999, neighborhood residents Robert Hammond and Joshua David created the community group called "Friends of the High Line" to advocate for the idea. The group was instrumental in the promotion, fundraising, and for the future preservation of the project. (all photos will enlarge when clicked on)

The High Line is property of the City of New York and under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks & Recreation. It is located on Manhattan's West Side and will eventually run from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues. Section 1 of the High Line, which opened to the public on June 9, 2009, runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street. When all sections are complete, the High Line will be a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park, running through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell's Kitchen.

It features an integrated landscape, designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and combines meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

Fixed and movable seating, lighting, and special features are also included in the park which is open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.
Access points from street level, by stairs and some with elevators, are located every two to three blocks. The large building above is The Standard, a new hotel that bridges the High Line.

Some views from the High Line of what was once the Meat Packing District of Manhattan. Many of the former warehouses and slaughter houses were converted into chic boutiques and restaurants.

There are approximately 210 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees on the complete section of the High Line. They were chosen for their hardiness and diversity of bloom time. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are incorporated into the park landscape to retain a natural effect.

A pretty view of the Hudson River and a section of New Jersey from the High Line.

An artist was doing a plein air painting a view on the High Line.

Another view of the Hudson River and some visitors enjoying their lunches in the shade under the walk through of the Chelsea Market building. Many stores inside the Chelsea Market are now selling a packaged picnic lunch especially for the High Line visitors.

The railroad tracks are very visible in the area that passes through the Chelsea Market.

Looking down a section of the elevated tracks called the Northern Spur that is not part of the walkway. You can see the variety of natural plantings that look very much like those that covered the tracks when they were left unused for over 25 years.

A view of the top Empire State Building behind a Chelsea neighborhood building.

A view of the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex which is a 28-acre waterfront sports village located between 17th and 23rd Streets along Manhattan's Hudson River. Situated on Piers 59, 60, 61 and 62 and in the head house that connects them, the Complex features the following sports and entertainment venues such as golf, a sky rink, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, baseball, dance, rock climbing, martial arts, hockey, figure skating, plus a health club and spa.

A unique residential building with both Hudson river and High Line views!

A close up of the top of the Empire state building. Wave to the people on the observation deck!

Another perspective with more views of the different types of housing in the area.

The walkway fades into a rail tie design is some areas with different varieties of grass and flowers growing in the spaces between. The original art deco style railing in this area is about waist high.

A movie is being filmed nearby, as this street was full of the trailers used to house actors and crew and equipment.

Looking down at Tenth Avenue

This section of the High Line has amphitheater type rows of bench seating.

The seats drop down below the deck and look through a jumbo glass window right up the middle of Tenth Avenue.

Another view of people walking on the High Line and more shots of the fauna and flora.

Since opening in June 2009, crowds have been dense as many New Yorkers and tourists are curious to see the new park and enjoy the views. The current rules for the High Line are no dog walking, no bicycles, no jogging, no skates or skateboards and no scooters or drinking of alcohol, which all will help to keep it purely pedestrian and safe. After years of seeing this railway from below it was a novelty to view it from above, and I found it a pleasant place to stroll and people watch as well as enjoy the scenery.

Much of the High Line is still an active construction site. While Section 1 of the High Line is open to the public, Section 2, between 20th Street to 30th Street, is currently under construction. Section 2 is projected to open in 2010. The park will eventually extend from Gansevoort Street north to 30th Street where the elevated tracks turn west around the Hudson Yards development project to the Javits Convention Center on 34th Street.

It is proving to be a popular new attraction in the area and there is even an official High Line Blog! I hope you enjoyed walking along with me today.

I am linking this post to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer "Outdoor Wednesday' event. Please go to Susan's blog to see other blogs that are participating today with wonderful outdoor adventures.


Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - Your photos and text really capture the High Line perfectly. I thought it was a fabulous idea to make this park but the one thing I think they should rethink is those concrete things that come out of the walkways that I constantly tripped on.

Lori E said...

It is so nice when a space like this takes shape in a city. It looks like a lot of people really enjoy it.

Gracie said...

Nice way to re-use a lost and forgotten space! I'd like to take a stroll there someday.

Tracy said...

WOW--Pat!! Such great views and variety today...and just so interesting, what a great place they created. Love the re-use/recycle/re-life concept. :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Vee said...

Oh wow! I'm loving the big pictures! Don't you worry, Pat, your blog is one that I will catch up on completely one fine day. I really do want to see your Yellowstone adventure and I'll bring John along, too.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Pat, you really covered the High Line! Thanks for the in depth reportage! I've just seen glimpses of this before. Now I have a much better understanding, thanks!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Thanks for the great travelogue! I really enjoyed walking the High Line with you -- now I've got to do it in person!
Wonderful pictures. Cass

Catherine said...

Just wonderful as always.

Jenny said...

Oh I love this! Memory mixed with modern. Texture contrasting against sleek. What a lovely, lovely park. I would so go and sit here with my paints pretending I could begin to capture the sheer charisma of this location! Thanks for a great trip!

Mary said...

It's not hard to tell you love your city :-). Your photos are wonderful. I think it's terrific that the abandoned elevated platform was put to good use. Have a great day.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, this is just fascinating. I love how NYC goes the extra mile to create special places for its citizens. This is really neat.


Sheila :-)

Ms. Bake-it said...

Hello Pat,

What an interesting post. I love how they turned the High Line into a park. Great photos!

Thank you for sharing them with us.

~ Tracy

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Great elevated park in the city. Thanks for a wonderful tour of the park.

mbkatc230 said...

We saw this park featured in a spot on CBS Sunday morning and remarked what a great idea it was. Your pictures are just gorgeous. I love, love, love living in our small Texas town, but these pictures really make me want to visit New York again! Thanks for the tour. Kathy

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the city from up there. There were sure a lot of folks out that day. You should write for the Chamber of Commerce, your pictures make everyone want to visit there.

Just a little something from Judy said...

Beautiful, relaxing music, interesting and informative photography...I am so glad I came to visit. You captured the High Line for me in a way that I never saw before. I found this so fascinating!

Beverly said...

Pat, this was fascinating. I had not read about this before, and I love how this space was used to create something special for people.

Kathleen said...

Hi Pat,
I had read about that! Amazing..and what a wonderful use.
Here I am 90 min away and have never been there!
I must get out more often.
Your pictures are wonderful!
I am such a country bumpkin!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Loved the tour. What a neat place they created with the space. A wonderful mix of the past and the present!

M.Kate said...

Its nice to see how creative they have been with the train line..much better than here where abandoned items/structures are always an ugly sight. Love/m

Karen said...

What a nice unique park and your photos capture it so well.

xinex said...

I am glad they preserved the High Line, Pat. It looks very pretty and a nice place to hang out in....Christine

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I love it when old buildings are converted into restaurants and shops. When I paint on Monday nights, I go to an old factory that was converted into shops, restaurants and an art Gallery! They have so much personality and history.

Bellamere Cottage said...

Thank you so much for that fabulous tour! It looks like it was a much needed park...lots of folks are enjoying it!


Anonymous said...

Pat. what a great place, somewhere else for me to visit if we make it to NY next year!! I love it when they make use of old railway lines, we have one near here where you can have a leisurely walk or cycle as it goes across the countryside. Jackie

Anonymous said...

What a super post about the High Line!
We live on 23rd St. so I manage to go there often.
It is a great asset to our neighborhood.
Sorry it was crowded when you were there - seems to be a very popular attraction.
The blog master of the High Line turns out to be one of my ex-students.....
How is little Leo?
We will welcome our first in January.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful shots and an informative post on the High Line. You give us the BEST tours.


Claudia said...

I have to go there - have to! I worked on Hudson and 10th and would walk home from Chelsea through the meat packing district. My how things change! For the better I hope - although I hate when old New york disappears).

steviewren said...

Pat, I've come to have a much better understanding of life and living in and around NY city through your blog. It always takes me by surprise to see the numbers of people crowded together in the parks and on the streets. I guess I am basically a small town girl, even though I live in a city of 4 & 1/2 million. That is small potatoes to NY and its boroughs combined population, I suppose.

CatHerder said...

Great pics as should be a tourguide!

Gina said...

Very interesting place..I love the mix of modern and older buildings in the city scape and the native? plantings are wonderful..I really like this style of garden :) Have a wonderful weekend Pat Gx

Cori G. said...

Hi Pat,

Sorry I haven't been by in awhile to say hello. I seem to have lost my blogging steam and haven't been able to find it anywhere. I fear I've neglected all my bloggy friends and feel terrible. I am so sorry!!!

Anyway I love this post about the unused track and what's been done with it. I've always loved old train tracks and wondered about the places they lead and the people who've traveled them. This is such a great idea...rather then tear it down make it into something useful and beautiful.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!!

xoxo Cori

Lorrie said...

Pat thanks so much for this interesting and very informative post. I am fascinated by this park and after taking your tour almost feel as though I've been there! I definitely plan to see it next time I come to NY to visit my sister. I think the entire concept is so great and I think the execution looks wonderful.

dede said...
I can't believe!

Carol said...

Thanks for pointing me here, Pat, enjoyed the post! My husband was working in Chelsea a while back and mentioned this, we had no clue. And I would love to visit one of these days, looks fantastic!