The High Line

The High Line was an elevated rail line from 34th Street to Spring Street that opened in 1934. It was part of Robert Moses' West Side Improvement, a massive 13-mile-long project that eliminated 105 street/railroad crossings and almost completely rebuilt Riverside Park. The supersession of railroads by trucking for bringing freight into Manhattan slowly reduced the use of the High Line until it was abandoned in 1980.

Although area property owners almost immediately began lobbying for demolition of the structure, activists challenged demolition in court and began advocating for preservation of the structure as a public open space similar to Paris' Promenade plantée. In 2005, the structure was slated for railbanking and CSX donated the line to the city. Construction began the following year.

I happened to be on a tour of development sites on the West Side with a political economy class from Hunter College when the southern section of the new park opened to the public in June 2009. I returned in August of 2010 just prior to leaving New York City, and it was especially interesting to note the effects of the maturation of the vegetation on the park experience.

High Line running east along 30th street around the railyard
8/24/2006 06:57 PM
High Line running east along 30th street around the railyard
Truncated siding, 30th St @ 10th Ave
6/9/2009 06:43 PM
Truncated siding, 30th St @ 10th Ave
Old vs New, 28th St @ 10th Ave
6/9/2009 06:50 PM
Old vs New, 28th St @ 10th Ave
Potential redevelopment, 28th St @ 10th Ave
6/9/2009 06:51 PM
Potential redevelopment, 28th St @ 10th Ave
High Line over 28th St
6/9/2009 06:51 PM
High Line over 28th St
High Line at 26th Street
7/17/2006 06:59 PM
High Line at 26th Street
Passing through a warehouse at 26th St
6/9/2009 06:53 PM
Passing through a warehouse at 26th St
Legacy buildings on 10th Ave south of 25th St
6/9/2009 06:54 PM
Legacy buildings on 10th Ave south of 25th St
Old vs New, 25th St
6/9/2009 06:54 PM
Old vs New, 25th St
245 Tenth Ave @ 25th St
6/9/2009 06:55 PM
245 Tenth Ave @ 25th St
High Line north of 23rd Street
8/24/2006 06:41 PM
High Line north of 23rd Street
High Line south of 23rd Street
7/17/2006 07:02 PM
High Line south of 23rd Street
High Line @ 23rd St
6/9/2009 06:56 PM
High Line @ 23rd St
New cantilevered construction @ 23rd St
6/9/2009 06:57 PM
New cantilevered construction @ 23rd St
23rd St park exit
6/9/2009 07:01 PM
23rd St park exit
21st Street - Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church
7/17/2006 08:26 PM
21st Street - Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church
Parking under the High Line at 21st Street
7/17/2006 08:34 PM
Parking under the High Line at 21st Street
456 West 19th St
6/9/2009 07:02 PM
456 West 19th St
High Line crossing 10th Ave @ 17th St
6/9/2009 07:03 PM
High Line crossing 10th Ave @ 17th St
10th Avenue Square @ 17th St
6/9/2009 07:04 PM
10th Avenue Square @ 17th St
10th Avenue Square @ 17th St
6/9/2009 07:05 PM
10th Avenue Square @ 17th St
450 West 14th St
6/9/2009 07:08 PM
450 West 14th St
High line passing through the base of 450 West 14th St
6/9/2009 07:09 PM
High line passing through the base of 450 West 14th St
Sidings crossing 10th Ave at 15th St
6/9/2009 07:10 PM
Sidings crossing 10th Ave at 15th St
Liberty Inn, 51 10th Ave @ 14th St
6/9/2009 07:11 PM
Liberty Inn, 51 10th Ave @ 14th St
Pier of The Standard
6/9/2009 07:13 PM
Pier of The Standard
Plaza, Washington St @ 13th St
6/9/2009 07:13 PM
Plaza, Washington St @ 13th St

The High Line park design was created by a team that included James Corner Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an architecture firm, along with additional designers.

Gansevoort Stair
6/9/2009 07:16 PM
Gansevoort Stair
Gansevoort Stair
6/9/2009 07:16 PM
Gansevoort Stair
Gansevoort Stair
6/9/2009 07:16 PM
Gansevoort Stair
Gansevoort Stair
6/9/2009 07:17 PM
Gansevoort Stair
The Standard, btw 12th and 13th Sts
8/2/2010 07:26 PM
The Standard, btw 12th and 13th Sts
Washington Grasslands, High Line btw 12th and 13th Sts
8/2/2010 07:26 PM
Washington Grasslands, High Line btw 12th and 13th Sts
Washington Grasslands
8/2/2010 07:27 PM
Washington Grasslands
Washington Grasslands
8/2/2010 07:27 PM
Washington Grasslands
Comely photographer
8/2/2010 07:27 PM
Comely photographer
High Line over 13th St
6/9/2009 07:23 PM
High Line over 13th St
High Line over 13th St
8/2/2010 07:29 PM
High Line over 13th St
Washington Street viewed from the High Line
8/2/2010 07:28 PM
Washington Street viewed from the High Line
450 West 14th
8/2/2010 07:28 PM
450 West 14th
450 West 14th
8/2/2010 07:29 PM
450 West 14th
Photography
8/2/2010 07:29 PM
Photography
High Line passing through warehouse btw 15th and 16th Sts
8/2/2010 07:30 PM
High Line passing through warehouse btw 15th and 16th Sts
High Line passing through warehouse btw 15th and 16th Sts
6/9/2009 07:30 PM
High Line passing through warehouse btw 15th and 16th Sts
High Line north of 16th St
6/9/2009 07:30 PM
High Line north of 16th St
High Line north of 16th St
8/2/2010 07:31 PM
High Line north of 16th St
High Line north of 16th St
8/2/2010 07:31 PM
High Line north of 16th St
16th Street looking east
8/2/2010 07:31 PM
16th Street looking east
Sunset at 16th St
8/2/2010 07:32 PM
Sunset at 16th St
Cleared lot at 16th St awaiting economic rebound
8/2/2010 07:32 PM
Cleared lot at 16th St awaiting economic rebound
Liberty Inn, 51 10th Ave @ 14th St
8/2/2010 07:32 PM
Liberty Inn, 51 10th Ave @ 14th St
Spur north of 16th St
8/2/2010 07:33 PM
Spur north of 16th St
High Line north of 16th St
8/2/2010 07:35 PM
High Line north of 16th St
10th Avenue Square
6/9/2009 07:33 PM
10th Avenue Square
10th Avenue Square
8/2/2010 07:35 PM
10th Avenue Square
High Line between 17th and 18th Sts
6/9/2009 07:33 PM
High Line between 17th and 18th Sts
High Line north of 18th St
8/2/2010 07:38 PM
High Line north of 18th St
10th Ave @ 18th St
8/2/2010 07:38 PM
10th Ave @ 18th St
Buildings on 19th St
8/2/2010 07:36 PM
Buildings on 19th St
456 West 19th St
8/2/2010 07:37 PM
456 West 19th St
High Line north of 19th St
8/2/2010 07:39 PM
High Line north of 19th St
End of completed park at 20th St
6/9/2009 07:38 PM
End of completed park at 20th St
End of completed park at 20th St
8/2/2010 07:39 PM
End of completed park at 20th St
High Line Looking south from 20th St
6/9/2009 07:38 PM
High Line Looking south from 20th St
People on fire escape, 20th St
8/2/2010 07:40 PM
People on fire escape, 20th St
Map of next phase
8/2/2010 07:40 PM
Map of next phase
Art
8/2/2010 07:40 PM
Art
Section 2 under construction
8/2/2010 07:41 PM
Section 2 under construction
Section 2 map
8/2/2010 07:41 PM
Section 2 map
Exit stairway
8/2/2010 07:42 PM
Exit stairway

The West Side just south of 14th Street used to be home to a large collection of meat packing establishments. Although some remained to give the area an artificial industrial flavor, the meat packing district became dominated by expensive places for beautiful people to socialize.

Washington St
6/9/2009 07:13 PM
Washington St
Walmir Meat, Inc, 839 Washington St.
6/9/2009 07:14 PM
Walmir Meat, Inc, 839 Washington St.
Washington St @ Little West 12th St
6/9/2009 07:14 PM
Washington St @ Little West 12th St
Meat wholesalers on Little West 12th St
6/9/2009 07:14 PM
Meat wholesalers on Little West 12th St
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:16 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:16 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:16 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:17 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:17 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:18 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:18 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:19 PM
Meat packing district
Plaza, Washington St @ 13th St
8/2/2010 07:19 PM
Plaza, Washington St @ 13th St
Plaza, Washington St @ 13th St
8/2/2010 07:19 PM
Plaza, Washington St @ 13th St
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:20 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:20 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:21 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:22 PM
Meat packing district
Meat packing district
8/2/2010 07:24 PM
Meat packing district