The High Line NYC

Just got back from yet another trip to New York. Besides sampling NY’s awesome cuisine I made sure to go and check out the newly opened High Line Park. The High Line was originally an elevated train line that serviced the meatpacking district in NY. It was made to help alleviate street level delivery traffic on the west side of town. Unused since the 60′s someone had the great idea it into a park instead of tearing it down. It was designed by landscape architects, James Corner Field Operations and architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
It’s a wonderful idea for a park. Because it is elevated off the ground it allows unique views of the city that you wouldn’t normally get at ground level. Above is the entry at Gansevoort Street.
The High Line snakes through the west side going through buildings. You can still see the old rail tracks peeking through the plants in some parts.
The details are amazing, everything from the concrete to the rusted steel planter boxes(ala Richard Serra) are elegantly designed and well thought out. There are plenty of benches and chairs to sit and get away from the city while still being in the city. This nicely designed tanning bed actually sits on the old rail tracks and can be moved along the tracks just in case the guy next to you farts.
From the street, you can see the High Line snaking it’s way up town peeking out from the buildings.Above is an amphitheater like seating area with a giant picture window that looks out onto the street. This is probably my favorite design feature. If you are in NY you should definitely make some time to check this place out. I think cities around the world can learn a lot from this project in terms of how to creatively reuse architectural features that may no longer be useful. It’s a perfect way to integrate the new with the old. Often times, city governments don’t see the value in preservation so they just tear them down but when something is done right like the High Line, it can add vitality to the city. If you want to learn more about The High Line Park click here.