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Edward
January 14th, 2002, 01:08 PM
Built in the 1930s as an elevated passageway for freight trains, the High Line runs for 1.45 miles, from 34th Street, along the edge of the Hudson River, through West Chelsea's tree-lined blocks and art galleries, into the heart of the Meat Packing District. Friends of the High Line believes this neglected landmark offers New Yorkers the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind recreational amenity: a grand, public promenade that can be enjoyed by all residents and visitors in New York City. Preservation and reuse will protect the High Line's potential for future transportation use and link the residential, cultural, commercial, and industrial components of these dynamic Manhattan neighborhoods.


The quote above and the map are from the Friends of the Highline website (http://www.thehighline.org)

http://www.wirednewyork.com/images/import/highline_gallery_mapbig.gif



The High Line at 15th Street and 10th Avenue

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/highline_chelsea_15th.jpg



The High Line and the Jacob Javits convention center

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/highline_javits.jpg



The High Line at 17th Street

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/highline_17th_tenth.jpg



The High Line over Tenth Avenue at 16th Street

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/highline_tenth_16th.jpg

Edward
January 24th, 2002, 02:52 PM
Track Park Plan Derailed
Rudy signed pact to abandon old West Side rail line

By FRANK LOMBARDI
Daily News City Hall Bureau

A few days before Mayor Rudy Giuliani left office, his administration dealt a possible death blow to the High Line — the ghostly elevated freight line on the West Side.

On Dec. 20, the city quietly executed an agreement for voluntary abandonment of the unused old railroad line that runs from 12th to 34th Sts., west of 10th Ave.

In effect, the city consented to the demolition of the 1.4-mile line, which opened in 1933 to serve meat and grocery wholesalers that once dominated the area. It was closed down in 1980, and has been a source of debate ever since.

An alliance of elected officials and preservationists have been fighting to preserve the High Line, aiming to turn it into a showcase-elevated promenade and park. The project would be funded with federal rail-banking funds, they say.

Patterned After Paris

Their inspiration is a similar eyesore rail line in Paris that since 1988 was transformed into the Promenade Plantee and helped spur other development along its route.

Called Friends of the High Line, its champions decried the Giuliani administration's action but refuse to give up.

"We thought it was appalling," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of the group. "What's all the hurry to sign a demolition order?"

Hammond and his allies are pursuing legal and political action to thwart demolition and the surrender of the valuable right of way to adjoining property owners.

On the political front, they hope Mayor Bloomberg and the new speaker of the City Council, Gifford Miller, will follow through on support they voiced last year.

Bloomberg's deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, Daniel Doctoroff, is to meet tomorrow with officials of the city's Economic Development Corp., which signed the demolition agreement.

Aide Seeks Out Both Sides

Doctoroff will then meet separately with Friends of the High Line.

Doctoroff will conduct a thorough analysis and make a recommendation to the mayor, said deputy press secretary Jennifer Falk.

Miller (D-upper East Side) said he still strongly supports the preservation effort.

"I love the High Line," Miller said.

Hammond is also optimistic that a Manhattan judge will rule favorably on a suit brought by Friends of the High Line, contending demolition must go through the city's intricate land-use process.

Property owners who stand to gain from the High Line's demolition are represented by Randy Mastro, who resigned as Giuliani's top deputy mayor in 1998.

He blasted the High Line yesterday as "a public menace and danger to anyone who has to travel underneath it."


Original Publication Date: 1/24/02



The view of the High Line from Chelsea gallery window on 19 January 2002.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/high_line_chelsea_19jan02.jpg

redbrick
January 27th, 2002, 06:04 PM
If the High Line is demolished, can housing (and other things) be developed in its place? I mean, what will happen with all the land underneath which will be opened up?

(Edited by redbrick at 6:06 pm on Jan. 27, 2002)

Edward
January 28th, 2002, 01:21 PM
Fight Heats Up Again Over Grassy Bed of Rails

By KELLY CROW (NEW YORK TIMES)

There has long been a hobo serenity to the High Line, an elevated rail bed with grassy patches and rusting tracks that snakes above 10th Avenue between 34th and Gansevoort Streets. Built in the 1930's to carry freight and unused since 1980, the High Line and its peaceful views reveal little of the decade-long fight over its fate.

The latest battle started last month when Justice David B. Saxe of State Supreme Court lifted an order that had prevented the city and a group of Chelsea property owners from tearing down the structure, which they consider an unsafe eyesore. Others want to renovate the strip as a park.

"This is a terrific win for us," said Michael Lefkowitz, a lawyer for Edison Properties, one of 19 businesses that own land beneath the High Line.

Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city's Economic Development Corporation, said an agreement to share the $11 million cost of dismantling the High Line was being circulated among the property owners and the rail bed's owner, CSX, of Richmond, Va. "It's about eliminating a public safety hazard," Ms. Patterson said, "but it's also about enabling the city to move forward and better develop the area."

Half the property owners have signed the agreement, she said. The city and CSX have not done so. A CSX spokesman, Robert Sullivan, said the company would not sign until everyone else had. If all parties sign, a 120-day waiting period is then required.

Robert Hammond, co-founder of a group called Friends of the High Line, hopes supporters have enough time to save it. A ruling is expected next month in a lawsuit the group has filed against the city, claiming the demolition plans violate the city's land-use review process. And on Feb. 6, the group is to release a study by the Design Trust for Public Space that gives ideas for raising $40 million and renovating the High Line as a park promenade. Advance galleys of the study were made available last week.

In a foreword to the study, written before he became mayor, Mr. Bloomberg said: "Today, on the West Side of Manhattan, we have an opportunity to create a great new public promenade on top of an out-of-use elevated rail viaduct called the High Line. This would provide much-needed green space for residents and visitors, and it would attract new businesses and residents, strengthing our economy. We know it can work . . . . I look forward to working with Friends of the High Line and other interested parties to develop a feasible reuse scenario."

Former Mayor Giuliani favored demolition.

Last Friday, a mayoral spokeswoman said Mr. Bloomberg was still familiarizing himself with the issues. Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development, met Friday with Friends of the High Line.

"It's disappointing to see all this last- minute political maneuvering," Mr. Hammond said. "But we've still got a good case, and we're cautiously optimistic."

Edward
February 8th, 2002, 04:53 PM
January 23, 2002 – March 5, 2002
Municipal Art Society
457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street


Reclaiming the High Line
On view through March 5 at the Urban Center Galleries

The High Line, an abandoned, historic elevated steel railway structure running along Manhattan's West Side from 34th Street to Gansevoort Street, was chosen for the endangered properties list because of its potentially imminent demolition by the city, despite the efforts of Friends of the High Line, a group working to convert the elevated railway into a landscaped public trail.

"Reclaiming The High Line," an exhibition co-sponsored by The Design Trust for Public Space and Friends of the High Line is the outcome of a 12-month study of the High Line that explores possible re-use scenarios for the structure.

The timing of the exhibition is critical and the stakes are high: the fate of the High Line - facing a pending demolition order - hangs in the balance as a new city administration settles in, and key appointments to executive offices are being made. However, a future for this evocative urban relic is not lost. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is an advocate for the High Line's reuse, and has contributed an introduction to a new publication, Reclaiming the High Line, upon which the exhibition is based.

Edward
December 23rd, 2002, 01:09 AM
Newsday
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-high1221,0,1823477.story?coll=ny-nynews-headlines

Mayor To Save Westside Rail Line
By Curtis L. Taylor
December 20, 2002, 10:02 PM EST

In a major shift from the previous administration, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken legal action to save the 1.45-mile abandoned High Line rail on Manhattan’s West Side, preserving the right to possibly build a unique, elevated public park, officials said.

The city filed a certificate of interim trail use this week with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, an important early step in preserving the rail line for future development that could include residential housing and a large, yet-to-be-determined public space, according to Daniel Doctoroff, deputy major for economic development and rebuilding.

“Our intent is to create an amenity onto the High Line and build around it residential developments while at the same time preserving the essential character of the neighborhood,” he said.

Doctoroff characterized the court action as an important early step in a complicated process.

“This is not a done deal,” Doctoroff said. “We still have to reach an agreement with the High Line.”

The city’s emerging plan appears to allow the option to tear down the northern section of the rail line between 30th and 34th streets, in case a stadium needs to be built on the site for the 2012 Olympics.

Still, the city’s aggressive position to save the abandoned rail line running from 34th Street to West 14th Street, knifing through Ninth and Tenth avenues, is a decided shift from the Giuliani administration, which had taken legal steps to demolish the site, officials said.

Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Upper East Side), who has openly championed the project, lauded the Bloomberg administration’s actions.

Miller said the idea was to create “an exciting public space and elevated park” for all New Yorkers to enjoy, mirroring the world-renowned in Paris. The estimated $60 million price tag would be funded through a combination of federal, city and state dollars, he said.

Miller said there was national precedent for reclaiming unused rail lines, citing the federally funded “Rails to Trails” program. Miller said maintaining the integrity of the “right of way space” was important because the large tract of land could prove important in seeking transportation alternatives.

Offices for the rail company, CSX, which owns the rail line were closed Friday evening and an official couldn’t be reached for comment.

The community-based Friends for the High Line, along with Miller, have led the fight to preserve the land to build the elevated park. Miller described the abandoned rail line as offering “some of the most unique views in all of Manhattan.”

Edward
December 23rd, 2002, 01:11 AM
NEW YORK TIMES
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/22/nyregion/22RAIL.html

On West Side, Rail Plan Is Up and Walking
By DAVID W. DUNLAP

A once-quixotic proposal to turn an abandoned rail line on the far West Side of Manhattan into an elevated public promenade has been formally embraced by the Bloomberg administration, almost exactly a year after the Giuliani administration moved to demolish the hulking structure.

Now, rather than seeking to tear down the 1.45-mile railroad viaduct, known as the High Line, New York City has asked the federal Surface Transportation Board to grant a certificate of interim trail use, which would preserve the route as a distinctly urban stretch in the national rails-to-trails network.

"We think the High Line, ultimately converted into a park, will enhance the character of the entire far West Side," Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, said in an interview on Friday.

"The High Line will remain up," he said, "and in conjunction with this we would seek to rezone portions of the areas surrounding the High Line in order to accommodate residential development. We think the High Line can be an important amenity."

The City Council speaker, Gifford Miller, said, "It's a huge step in the right direction."

That is not easy to envision while standing in the dark shadow of the viaduct, which has all the charm of an el. But it becomes clearer on the deck, where trees, weeds and wildflowers among rusting tracks and switches create a verdant swath through Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea and the Gansevoort Meat Market.

As a practical matter, the CSX Corporation, which manages the High Line, is still under an order from the Surface Transportation Board to pursue demolition, an outcome sought by Chelsea Property Owners, which objects to the structure as a dismal, dangerous blight that cannot be rehabilitated feasibly, attractively or economically — especially at a time of budget deficits.

Douglas Sarini, president of the group, which represents commercial owners along the High Line route, did not reply to requests for comment.

Earlier this year, however, the group said in one of its fliers: "Money doesn't grow on trees. And the last time we checked, it wasn't growing in the weeds of the High Line, either."

In fact, there is no money now to create a public space, nor even a plan to follow, although a private group called Friends of the High Line intends to sponsor a competition for ideas early next year.

What last week's filing does do is ally the city firmly with efforts to rehabilitate the 69-year old High Line, which runs about 30 feet above sidewalk level from Gansevoort to 34th Streets on a path that primarily parallels Tenth Avenue. The line, which in some places runs through or has spurs into buildings, linked the warehousing and industrial district along the Hudson River to the rest of the nation until 1980, and has been deteriorating since then.

"I understand that for property owners and many in the community that if you have to choose between the High Line as it currently is and no High Line, bringing it down makes sense," Mr. Miller, the Council speaker, said. "But I believe — and I think the administration has also seen — that when you consider the possibilities for a preserved and reused High Line as a public space and a signature moment in the New York landscape, that the positives are almost limitless."

Robert Hammond, co-founder of the Friends of the High Line, said the city's action was "at the top of my Christmas list." Two years ago, his well-connected but fledgling group faced considerable skepticism when it suggested that the High Line might one day rank with the Promenade Plantée in Paris, an old railroad viaduct that has been turned into a landscaped walkway.

A year ago, the group was in court, along with the City Council and C. Virginia Fields, the Manhattan borough president, challenging the tentative demolition agreement reached on Dec. 20, 2001, in the last days of the Giuliani administration. The High Line's backers argued that because the agreement involved property easements along the route of the viaduct, it should have been subject to the city's uniform land-use review procedure, known as Ulurp.

In March, they won a ruling from Justice Diane S. Lebedeff of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, who wrote that the administration's "determination to forego Ulurp review was undertaken without `lawful procedure' and was an `error of law.' " The ruling is being appealed. What is also holding up demolition is that a final, signed agreement has yet to be reached. And in its filing with the Surface Transportation Board, the city expressed "serious doubt" that such an agreement could ever be attained.

Instead, Mr. Doctoroff said, the city now hopes to reach a new agreement with CSX in the next few months, permitting "interim trail use," although he cautioned that this is a legal term; it does not mean that the viaduct would be open to strollers, skaters and bicyclists any time soon.

"A significant investment will have to be made," Mr. Doctoroff said.

In its filing, the city said that to establish an interim trail use, it would be willing to assume full responsibility for management of the right-of-way and any legal liability.

Without taking a position, Laurie Izes, a consultant to CSX, who is overseeing the High Line, said the company was "interested in a responsible and expeditious solution" and would review the filing if the board granted the city's request for interim trail use.

amigo32
December 23rd, 2002, 01:38 AM
Old railway lines are a historical part of an individual community. *Hopefully, somebody will throw some bucks behind a renovation and restoration plan, to turn this line into a trail or park. *Here in MO., the state did it by creating the Katy Trail, (probably because Jesse James loved robbing trains along it), which extends pretty much the width of the state. *It is a wonderful biking, walking getaway.

(Edited by amigo32 at 1:41 am on Dec. 23, 2002)

Merry
December 23rd, 2002, 02:20 AM
I've just bought a *book called "Walking the High Line" by Joel Sternfeld containing some very nice photos, which I think serve as an excellent advertisement for saving and restoring the High Line as an elevated park or promenade. *I hope it happens.

dbhstockton
December 23rd, 2002, 10:47 AM
Does anybody here know how to get up there?

Edward
December 23rd, 2002, 12:50 PM
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2002/12/22/nyregion/021222_met_RAILmap.gif

Kill Eye
December 30th, 2002, 05:00 PM
Boston.com has been doing a series of stories about the future of the land below the current elevated artery when the Big Dig is done. As part of the series they profiled some redevelopment success stories in other cities, among the the Viaduc des Arts in Paris. This is also a great model for the kind of development that could take place on the High Line. You can view Boston.com's story here:

http://www.boston.com/beyond_bigdig/cases/paris/index.shtml



(Edited by Kill Eye at 5:03 pm on Dec. 30, 2002)

Kris
April 21st, 2003, 01:21 PM
Designing the High Line: Competition Insights

Three jurors, the competition coordinator, and Friends of the High Line co-founders offer their thoughts about - and hopes for - one of Manhattan's most unique urban environments.

by Claire Weisz, AIA
April 21, 2003

Editor’s note: The High Line is a 1 ½-mile-long elevated freight railway line that runs from West 34 Street south to the Meatpacking District on Manhattan’s far West Side. Built in the 1930’s, it has been unused since 1980 – and under constant threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line (FHL), a non-profit coalition of local residents, businesses, and civic groups established in 1999, is dedicated to not only preserving the structure, but also to transforming it into a grand public promenade.

To that end, FHL recently launched “Designing the High Line,” an open, one-stage ideas competition for the structure’s reuse. April 25 is the early-bird registration deadline (with a $50 entry fee – after that, entries will cost $100 each). The final deadline for registration and submissions is May 23. (Click on link above for details and registration.)

A large selection of entries, including the winners, will be exhibited in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal July 10-26, 2003.

The jury includes: *Julie Bargmann, D.I.R.T. Studio, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia; *Vishaan Chakrabarti, Director of Manhattan Office, New York City Department of City Planning; John Lee Compton, Co-Chair, Chelsea Preservation and Planning Committee, Manhattan Community Board No. 4; Lynne Cook, Curator, Dia Art Foundation; *Steven Holl, AIA, Architect; Murray Moss, Owner, Moss; Marilyn Jordan Taylor, FAIA, Chairman, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Signe Nielsen, FASLA, Landscape Architect and Urban Designer; Bernard Tschumi, AIA, Architect, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; and *Robert Hammond, Co-Founder, Friends of the High Line. *Reed Kroloff, former Editor-in-Chief of Architecture magazine, is the competition advisor. (* = Interviewed)

The interviews that follow were conducted by Claire Weisz, AIA, Principal of Weisz + Yoes, and Co-Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space.

Reed Kroloff, Designing the High Line Competition Advisor

Claire Weisz: What do you think is important about the High Line?

Reed Kroloff: What I think is important about the High line is its height. You have this remnant at an unnatural height, a fantastic otherworldly space. You can wander through New York at a magical mid-level. It is really an unparalleled opportunity. The question is what can you do with this to let people take advantage of it?

CW: What kind of urbanism is the High Line?

RK: The High Line is distinct because it cuts right through the grid. Only the subways here do that. It allows you to really experience the grid unlike anywhere else. Your urban perception is shifted – a split-space urbanism – with the ability to move through buildings, too.

CW: Why a design competition?

RK: Right now, it’s not accessible and not clean. There is the opportunity to create architecture in the city in a way it can’t be created anywhere else. A competition should show us many ideas about what is possible before plans are set.

CW: Is it Architecture or Landscape?

RK: It is Architecture because it is a bridge structure, but it has become Landscape through neglect. Now, there is a sense of not just preserving but enhancing the condition of this structure and the place it has become – without turning it into a “Disney experience.” It has to be celebrated for what makes it distinct. It reminds me of the drawings David McCauley does of cities transforming into other things. This competition about a neglected structure is a wonderful vindication of the preservation program in New York. It is remarkable that when it was threatened, a group of citizens rose up and said “No!” People want to keep a piece of the city – what it was in early incarnations. And now we have the competition to show us how to use it in the 21st century.

Steven Holl, Architect – Juror

Claire Weisz: What do you think about when you look at the High Line now?

Steven Holl: I believe that its real potential lies in what I’d call a public-private hybrid: eventually realizing a variety of enterprises and functions that install themselves along its length. An example is how the High Line works in the project that Jean Nouvel proposed in the Meatpacking District last year. It demonstrates the possibilities that can exist at the upper level when an architect is interested in doing interesting things. This would give the High Line energy beyond that of being purely a public project. If you could engage adjacent interests in being responsible for pieces of it, for maintaining it, for having events and activities up there, then this kind of thinking will really make the High Line vital. I see this upper passage getting its richness from a crazy quilt of different uses and places.

For example, imagine just walking along, and parts of it are wild. At another section, they are using it as part of a building. They’ve repaved and formed it into a place where you can have a fashion show one day or stop to have lunch – and it glows with lighting from underneath. And then walk another block, and it goes back to being wild. There must be some ways that you can – say for 10 hours a month – use it for special events. Look at Bryant Park – why does it work there? Bryant Park is a great example of a park and that’s fine – but it’s a great place because it has the other things going on.

What we can’t neglect is the underside of it. It can really be quite nice. Like what was done at the car wash on 14th Street. You can use lighting and glass, and it can be really something useful. But as I see it, it needs to have both the public and private sectors working on it together.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Department of City Planning, NYC - Juror

Claire Weisz: What are some of the issues that City Planning would like to see the competition address?

Vishaan Chakrabarti: I think that the most radical concept is that this could be a successful public space that’s elevated in section. There are so few examples that work. How do you get people wanting to go up there? What is the programming? Wonderful possibilities exist that relate to what is below the High Line and what is happening on the side streets. We hope that the entries will deal with these issues.

CW: What do people need to know about the neighborhoods that the High Line bisects?

VC: In addition to lower Manhattan, one of the largest planning projects the city will ever undertake is the Hudson Yards, which stretches over the area just north of the High Line. One of our objectives is the creation of a vast open space network, in which the High Line plays a big role. You could walk from the Meatpacking District to Clinton on one continuous public open space. The High Line can serve as a great connector into the core of Hudson Yards – the knuckle of the plan – where all the districts come together in a public square. It is really like the Bryant Park of the far West Side. The High Line charges right into that. If you continue on the High Line to the west, you will be out on the water. To the east, the network connects the High Line to Penn Station.

CW: Are you saying that you are formally planning for that core New York activity: walking?

VC: Yes. And the High Line is an incredible walkable connector. But there are other planning issues involved. We certainly envision the ongoing uses of the arts district in the mid-blocks of far West Chelsea, and along the avenues we see a potential for residential uses. The High Line is surrounded by buildings that make sense in terms of their use and form – we are very excited about the possibilities.

What I’m really hoping is that the competition will focus on the High Line itself: its structure, its conditions, and getting up to it. It is trite to say, “This is a linear park.” What does that mean? You can imagine the surface being a hundred different things, and the program as well, from jogging to retail. You look at it and wonder: should it speak to a more rugged experience of wildflowers or a more refined, elegant, planted park? We are only at the tip of the iceberg of understanding what “linear park” might mean here: a public space of this length in this place.

Julie Bargmann, Landscape Architect - Juror

Claire Weisz: What is the main landscape challenge that the High Line presents?

Julie Bargmann: The challenge is to defend the value of this amazing landscape infrastructure in every sense, including ecologically. I was among all the folks who barely knew what the High Line was. Then I saw it when I went to an initial site visit at Penn Yards, and it was it epiphany. It has to be saved. As a landscape architect, never in a million years could I design anything as thrilling or beautiful. Then I met Robert Hammond and was introduced to all the political problems facing its survival. That fueled the fire for me to go to the mat for it. So basically, the hope I have for the role of the High Line in relation to the Penn Yards site and beyond is to have a connector both physically and historically, and to hold a piece of the public realm within something that the community perceived as a private development, and build it as a public amenity.

CW: What issues are you hoping the competition will address?

JB: As the guidelines express, what are the connections to and away from the High Line? How can it weave together other landscape initiatives in the city such as Hudson River Park and important streets and avenues? And, of course, I’m very interested in the exploration of urban ecology and how this 1.5-mile ecological corridor gives us something to experiment with. It should be something that looks at the particular and peculiar, as opposed to "shrubbing it up.” Here, even the native plant discussion has an urban twist. There is no real definition of the NYC "native landscape.” I'll look at a plant palette that may show pre-settlement plant communities, but what does that have to do with the New York plant community? The other thing is recognizing the High Line as 1.5 miles of open space with no intersection with motorized traffic: people should see this in the same light as Central Park, which is also a piece of landscape infrastructure. I would hope that not only will there be cultural idiosyncrasies but ecological and environmental idiosyncrasies as well.

CW: What about change?

JB: Landscape on this platform in an urban setting is a special and exaggerated microclimate. How do you deal with an extreme landscape that goes through so many different circumstances? You are talking about daily changes, not only seasonal changes.

We are more conscious of changes over time – the decade clock, the geological clock. Especially when you look at it in terms of the average life of a tree, which in New York is seven years, while elsewhere trees survive 50 or 100 years. There is a lot more consciousness of how succession works: how weedy this landscape is in its in early succession, how that landscape will evolve, and perhaps even need to be reset or disturbed. If you imagine and build the right landscape infrastructure, the city will grow the right way around it.

I think a lot about the urban wilds, though maybe the general public is not ready for this. Abandoned and vacant lots really do have a peculiar life and quality of their own. When Penn Yards came up, I thought, how can retain some of this wildness? That’s where the fight is very hard, but I think that's catching on. Ecologists are beginning to appreciate urban ecology in terms of its value as a landscape experience. Central Park isn’t the only paradigm, but it is important to think that this generation can understand landscape infrastructure on this scale with different concerns. There are urban and wild qualities to the High Line. How do you capture that and not over-tame or cultivate it?

Joshua David and Robert Hammond (Juror)
Co-Founders, Friends of the High Line

Claire Weisz: Why did FHL need to do this competition?

Joshua David: The High Line is a completely unique entity that has no direct precedents – except perhaps the Promenade Plantée [a reclaimed elevated rail viaduct in Paris] – and we wanted to make sure that every possible design idea was put on the table before we moved to the next step.

Robert Hammond: There is not just one discipline that covers all the aspects of the project. It includes landscape, gardens, lighting, architecture – everything. We wanted to create a way for talented people to team up – a lighting designer and an architect, a horticulturist and a landscape architect, an artist and city planner, or any other combination of disciplines. And a good design will help get the High Line built. It will help FHL overcome the legal, political, and financial hurdles that lay before us.

CW: What is the role of the architecture and design community?

RH: When we started this project, most people thought we were crazy and that it would never move forward. Architects and designers recognized the vision early on and gave us the critical backing we needed to gain broader support. I think they will play an even more important role now. By developing visionary ideas, they will help us build political and financial support for the project. FHL has spent a huge amount of time and energy on this project. It is not enough to build just an average park. We want the space to be as amazing as the structure itself.

CW: What would you, personally, like to see up there?

RH: My love of the High Line comes from its contractions – the juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous elements – a pastoral meadow atop an industrial infrastructure. I hope to see designs that reflect these kinds of contradictions. I love the metaphor of a bubbling brook that runs through the heart of the Meatpacking and West Chelsea art districts. I am interested in preserving an essence of what happens when people leave and the wildness takes over – and at the same time gives people access to this wild environment.

CW: What is the toughest challenge?

JD: A really important challenge is dealing with access. The High Line’s value can only be realized when the public can get up on it. Access is what will connect the two worlds created by the structure: the great spaces on top and below. How do you create access systems that are ADA-compliant and can land on a narrow sidewalk? How do you build public access through buildings next to the High Line? This is a good time to point out that currently, unfortunately, there is no public access to the Line’s upper deck. It is owned by the CSX Corporation, and it’s private property. Some people have been sneaking up lately. This is a bad idea. FHL discourages it in the strongest terms. It is illegal – you will be arrested. And it hurts our efforts to negotiate with the railroad to open it to the public.

RH: Some people view the spaces below the line, as it crosses over the street, as a negative condition, but a good design could completely change this perception.

CW: How should entrants treat adjacent buildings?

RH: The competition is focused on the High Line more than adjacent buildings. We hope entrants will submit proposals that concentrate on the elevated structure itself – the way access might be developed and programming for the Line, rather than focusing on the design of buildings around the Line – though we are interested in seeing how access might be built into adjacent buildings. But for the most part, it’s not about a lot of new buildings. It’s really about creating a new public space that works. The community regularly voices its concerns about significantly increasing density in the area, or creating building forms that are excessively tall or bulky. None of our studies show that increased density in the area was required to make reusing the High Line viable. People in the area want to preserve the essential neighborhood character, and the High Line is an important piece of the character.

CW: What about transportation uses?

JD: We see pedestrian transportation use as the most feasible and the most desirable. It is essential that we never forget that the High Line, at base, is a piece of transportation infrastructure. The great thing about rail-banking is that it allows us to use the structure for pedestrian transportation now, while at the same time allowing for other forms of transportation in the future if that ever becomes desirable or necessary.

CW: What kind of resources do you have available for competitors?

RH: Everything is on the website http://www.thehighline.org/competition: the guidelines, research and resources, images, a list of existing flora, registration, AutoCad drawings, and other relevant materials. Remember to register by April 25 to avoid a late fee.

CW: What are you planning for the Exhibition?

RH: We are planning to exhibit as many entries as possible in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall, July 10-26. Grand Central has great historic and symbolic connections to the High Line, and half a million pass through it everyday. There will be a panel discussion with the jury once the exhibit is mounted. There will be lots of press attention, since this will be the first time we are showing design concepts for reuse.

CW: What are the requirements?

JD: The requirements are really simple. Submit two boards – no models, no videotapes – that address the competition objectives: Define a comprehensive vision for the High Line as a whole; identify innovative ways to deal with access; present ideas for the spaces below the Line; and create a compelling public environment on the structure’s elevated rail bed.

Claire Weisz, AIA, is a New York based architect and principal in the firm of Weisz + Yoes. She is also the Executive Director of The Design Trust for Public Space. Originally from Canada, she has practiced in California and taught urban design and architecture at Columbia University and The Pratt Institute.


© 2003 ArchNewsNow.com

AJphx
April 21st, 2003, 02:38 PM
cool, this is good urban planning. Hopefully all the buildings it goes through will have entrances on to it.

Kris
April 26th, 2003, 08:51 PM
A virtual tour: http://www.oldnyc.com/highline/contents/highline.html

Fabb
June 1st, 2003, 03:43 AM
June 1, 2003

Many Proposals for Rusty Rail Line on the West Side
By DAVID W. DUNLAP

After the last boxcar rumbled along the High Line in 1980, imagination began riding the rails.

Battling landowners' opposition, official intransigence and — frankly — common sense, quixotic New Yorkers periodically dreamed of ways to save the High Line, an elevated railroad viaduct that threads its way through the far West Side of Manhattan, from Gansevoort to 34th Streets.

That dreaming has now gone global.

Entrants from Berlin, Vienna and Tokyo were among the four winners chosen on Friday by an influential jury in a competition that sought ideas for redesigning the High Line. There were 720 proposals from 38 countries, said Robert Hammond, director of Friends of the High Line, which sponsored the competition.

They ranged from pure whimsy — several contemplated turning the High Line into a cow pasture and one of the winners imagined it as a 7,920-foot-long swimming pool — to visions as starkly provocative as the structure itself, which can be seen as a romantic industrial relic or as a dangerous blight.

None of the ideas stand a chance of getting built as conceived. But the competition marks another step forward in the campaign to reuse the High Line.

"What it proves to me is that no matter what the design of the High Line ultimately is, something great will occur," said Vishaan Chakrabarti, director of the Manhattan office of the Department of City Planning, after he and the other jurors finished their daylong review.

"It's obvious from this competition that the conceptual is going to get us to the real," he said.

Mr. Chakrabarti's presence was significant. It reflects a turnaround at City Hall from the position of the Giuliani administration, which favored demolition of the High Line, to the Bloomberg administration, which embraces its preservation.

The swimming pool proposal, by Nathalie Rinne of Vienna, was one of the winners chosen by a jury that included the architects Steven Holl, Marilyn Jordan Taylor and Bernard Tschumi and the landscape architects Julie Bargmann and Signe Nielsen.

They also picked "Black Market Crawler," a moving structure with shops, galleries, theaters and places for a full range of activities — not all of them legal. It was submitted by Hugo Beschoor Plug of Berlin.

Ernesto Mark Faunlagui of Hoboken won for his proposal to alter the viaduct through incisions and displacement, creating new openings, parapets, walls and skylight wells. And Matthew Greer of New York won for his plan to let the structure continue to evolve naturally into a kind of wild meadow.

A separate award for public access was won by Takuji Nakamura of Tokyo, who proposed illuminated shafts penetrating the viaduct, with stairs and elevators.

Other entries recreated the High Line as a farm, a fluorescent fun house, a log-flume ride, a trellis-wrapped garden, a roller coaster, a small-scale Appalachian Trail and the zones of Dante's paradise, purgatory and inferno. Mr. Greer even proposed to bring back a boxcar.

Copyright 2003*The New York Times Company

Kris
June 26th, 2003, 03:50 PM
NEXT STOP ON THE HIGH LINE: AN EXHIBITION AT GRAND CENTRAL
On View July 10-26, Exhibition Airs a Multitude of Ideas for
Converting a West Side Elevated Railroad into Public Open Space

NEW YORK, NY – From July 10 through 26, visitors to Grand Central Terminal will have a chance to join in brainstorming about the future of 1.5 miles of Manhattan's West Side. The occasion is the exhibition Designing the High Line, organized by the non-profit group Friends of the High Line. On view in Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall, the exhibition presents a wide variety of ideas—from the highly practical to the purely visionary—for preserving the High Line, an inactive West Side elevated railroad, and re-using it as open space for the public.

Overgrown with trees and wildflowers, the historic High Line stretches from 34th Street down through Chelsea to the Meat Packing District. A proposal to make this unused asset into an active part of present-day New York has won widespread approval, and the City of New York has taken the first official steps toward rail-banking the structure. Rail-banking would allow the High Line to become an elevated walkway, running for a mile and a half above the streets of Manhattan.

http://wwww.thehighline.org/newsletters/061103_pr.html

STT757
June 27th, 2003, 12:48 AM
They should utilize the ROW for a Light Rail line that would run from the Upper West Side onto the High Line and Down to Lower Manhattan, the Light Rail could come down off the elevated and run at street level along the West Side drive/West Street to the World Financial Center.

Edward
July 5th, 2003, 12:04 PM
High Line near the Railroad Yards and construction of Times Square Tower (http://www.wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/10xsq/default.htm). 4 July 2003.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/highline_hudson_times_square_4july03.jpg



High Line and The Empire State Building (http://www.wirednewyork.com/landmarks/esb/default.htm).

http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/highline/images/highline_esb_west_4july03.jpg



A stretch of High Line near the Gansevoort Market Meat Center and construction of Hotel Gansevoort. 4 July 2003.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/hotel_gansevoort/gansevoort_hotel_meat_market_4july03.jpg

Kris
July 8th, 2003, 12:26 PM
NY Times.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/07/08/arts/arts650.jpg

URBAN PLANNING: THE HIGH LINE Here's the question: What is to be done with the High Line, 1.5 miles of inactive elevated railroad, overgrown with trees and wildflowers, which courses along Manhattan's West Side from 34th Street through Chelsea to the meat packing district? New York City has already taken the first step toward preserving the High Line as a walkway, but in what form? From Thursday through July 26, the exhibition "Designing the High Line" at Grand Central Terminal will see the culmination of an international ideas competition organized by the nonprofit organization Friends of the High Line, which drew 720 entries from 38 countries. The top submissions will be highlighted, and visitors will have a chance to submit their own suggestions.

Taksim
July 8th, 2003, 04:04 PM
I vote for an elevated park.

TLOZ Link5
July 8th, 2003, 10:18 PM
Most of us here do, Taksim :)

It'll definitely be a catalyst for development on the West Side.

Zoe
July 11th, 2003, 12:39 PM
I just came back from the Grand Central exhibition. *It is a worth while trip. *Alot of great ideas, my favorite was #209 Olympic Village. *The proposal calls for mulitiple new buildings to be built with the High Line running thru the centers. *Some of them are really off the wall. *Enjoy

thomasjfletcher
July 14th, 2003, 12:53 PM
I was up the High Line the other day- truly beautiful this time of year- took some pix- http://www.geocities.com/tjaaf69/highline.htm
which show access points.
cheers
tom

Eugenius
July 14th, 2003, 03:07 PM
Fascinating pictures. *I particularly liked the one with the Coke bottle. *That, I believe, is the retired sign from Times Square. *A sad end, really. *I would have thought it would wind up in a museum somewhere.

Freedom Tower
July 17th, 2003, 06:41 PM
Judging by Fletchers pictures, they have already turned it into an elevated park ;)

Edward
July 17th, 2003, 09:03 PM
Fletch, what I want to know is how did you get on the High Line, and why you were not arrested? ;) Seriously, I always wanted to walk the High Line, anyone lives in an apartment with windows opening onto the tracks?

TLOZ Link5
July 17th, 2003, 09:19 PM
Thanks for those pictures, Fletcher. *I'm really excited about the restoration now; the placement of that el is definitely unique!

billyblancoNYC
July 18th, 2003, 10:13 AM
What an asset this will be to the city if it's done right. *Plus, all the development this will most likely spark will be amazing. *I wonder if it could be linked in some way to Hudson River Park?

Kris
July 25th, 2003, 08:34 AM
July 25, 2003

Move to Reclaim Rail Line Receives Bipartisan Push

By MIKE McINTIRE

City officials put aside partisan differences yesterday to forcefully push an ambitious proposal that would transform an elevated rail line spanning 20 blocks on Manhattan's West Side from an antiquated eyesore into a lush park.

The passionate appeals by City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and representatives of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, normally political adversaries, were viewed by park advocates as a major step forward for a plan that, in less than two years, has gone from half-baked to cooked enough to require the involvement of lawyers.

"We believe we can turn this space into one of New York's great places," said Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff. "This is the spine, truly the vital link, that connects three rapidly evolving and exciting neighborhoods."

Mr. Miller called the proposed 1.6-mile elevated greenway a "signature development" for New York unlike any other rail-bed reclamation project in the country.

"It is such a creative, thoughtful and exciting possibility that it's just unthinkable that we could not seize this," he said.

Though dramatic, the remarks were delivered at a hearing before an obscure federal transportation panel whose mission is far more mundane: namely, to untangle a raft of legal issues that have kept the fate of the 69-year-old railroad viaduct, known as the High Line, in limbo for more than a decade.

The panel, the Surface Transportation Board, is not expected to issue any rulings for at least a month. The project, which by some estimates could cost $65 million, would still face years of design planning, regulatory approvals and development.

A rusting incongruity, the High Line is a hulking relic when viewed from below, its promise revealed only when one ascends its verdant deck of tall native grasses and wildflowers that have taken hold since the trains stopped running in the early 1980's. It emerges from a rail yard at 34th Street and runs about 30 feet above sidewalk level south to Greenwich Village, where it ends at Gansevoort Street.

In 1992, a coalition of property owners along the corridor, arguing that the old railway was a hazardous eyesore and an impediment to redevelopment, won federal backing for a plan to tear it down, a proposal later supported by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. However, the plan never materialized because the coalition and the railroad's owner at the time, Conrail, could not agree on an ultimate price tag for demolition.

Conrail's successor, the CSX Corporation, has not taken a stand publicly on the question of whether to preserve the High Line, but has suggested it would not object as long as the company's financial interests were protected.

As attempts to raze the rail line stalled, the once-far-fetched notion of revitalizing it steadily gathered steam, and Mr. Bloomberg, in a turn-about from his predecessor, embraced the concept. The Bloomberg administration envisions a transformed High Line as an engine for economic growth in the communities through which is passes.

All sides in the issue — the preservationists, the neighbors who have favored demolition and the High Line's owner — are now seeking guidance from the transportation board. Whatever decision the board makes may not be final, because the city has said it would move to block any attempt to demolish the High Line, setting the stage for a protracted battle in state court.

The city's change of heart regarding the future of the High Line was cause for bewilderment by the transportation board chairman, Roger Nober, who pressed officials on what had changed since 1992.

"Back then, elected officials were saying the High Line had to come down," Mr. Nober said during the hearing at 26 Federal Plaza. "Why is it now in the public interest to maintain it?"


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
July 25th, 2003, 01:41 PM
Is it Mr. Nober's implication that public opinion is always constant?

Kris
July 31st, 2003, 01:43 PM
http://www.architectureweek.com/2003/0730/news_2-1.html

Zoe
September 16th, 2003, 11:40 AM
I just recieved this from the Friends of the High Line news letter.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28: COMMUNITY INPUT MEETING FOR HIGH LINE DESIGN
As part of a multi-stage planning process leading to a design master plan for the High Line, Friends of the High Line (FHL) will hold an open community input session on October 28. There, FHL will solicit public comment on the design proposals created for Designing the High Line, the ideas competition FHL held earlier this year. We invite local residents and business-owners and all interested New Yorkers to come tell FHL which designs you liked (and which ones you didn’t like) and let us know what good ideas might have been missed by all 720 competition entrants. Public comment gathered at this event will be distilled into a list of community-mandated design guidelines that will be included in the Request for Proposals to be distributed to prospective design teams. This event offers High Line community members and the general public a valuable opportunity to register comments and ideas at the very start of the design process. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 28 @ TIME TBA (Evening)
Metropolitan Pavilion
110 West 19th Street (6th/7th Avenues)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11: OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK & HIGH LINE VIEWING
On Saturday, October 11, Friends of the High Line will participate in the inaugural openhousenewyork (OHNY), one of the largest celebrations of architecture and design in New York City history. OHNY will invite the public inside 75 fascinating sites, many of which are usually closed to the public, in all five boroughs—at no charge. Since we cannot offer tours of the High Line to the general public, FHL will participate by offering a unique rooftop view of the High Line. To request information on the OHNY inaugural weekend event, contact info@ohny.org.

Kris
September 25th, 2003, 01:00 AM
City Unveils Plans to Turn Old Rail Line Into a Park

By WINNIE HU

The Bloomberg administration moved ahead yesterday with its plans to transform an abandoned elevated rail line into a 1.6-mile-long park and make it the centerpiece for new commercial and residential developments along the western edge of Chelsea.

At a news briefing, city planning officials unveiled a detailed proposal to carve out a special redevelopment district along 10th and 11th Avenues, between West 16th and West 30th Streets. The plan is part of the city's overall effort to encourage and control development on the West Side, Manhattan's most undeveloped area.

Zoning there would be changed from manufacturing and commercial uses to allow up to 4,200 units of new housing, primarily along the avenues.

Running through it would be the High Line, a railroad viaduct from the 1930's that extends from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. Development along the line would be restricted to protect the open views. The plan also restricts development of midblock areas throughout the district to preserve the low-lying warehouses that are home to more than 200 art galleries.

In a concession to those who own land directly under the High Line, the proposal would allow those property owners to sell their air rights — as much as one million square feet — to high-rise developments on the avenues.

Amanda M. Burden, the city's planning director, said the High Line would open up parkland in a part of the city that does not have enough while adding character to a once thriving manufacturing area.

Members of Manhattan Community Board 4 said, however, that they were concerned about the proposed height of some of the buildings and wanted more assurances that there would be enough housing at prices for lower- and middle-income people. City officials estimate that developers could set aside as much as a quarter of the new units at below market rates.

"There really are some very good things there, but there are still some glitches," said Lee Compton, co-chairman of the board's Chelsea preservation and planning committee.

City officials will seek comments on their proposal at a public hearing on Oct. 2, and could adopt the special district as early as next fall. The final proposal would have to be approved by the City Council.

The neighborhood has been much coveted by developers in recent years, prompting the city to insist on an overall plan for the area. Much of the discussion has centered on the future of the High Line.

The last boxcar rumbled over the line more than two decades ago, and many New Yorkers have pushed to save the rusty relic. The rail line has even inspired its own group of patrons, the Friends of the High Line, which has enlisted the help of celebrities like Edward Norton to drum up support for preservation efforts.

Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who keeps a giant color photograph of the railway in his home, has committed to spending more than $15 million over the next four years to transform the High Line into a public space. City officials estimate the project's cost at more than $65 million.

"I'm probably the High Line's biggest supporter," Mr. Miller said. "I've had the opportunity to walk on it, and it's a transforming experience. You see the city in a different way than before."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

billyblancoNYC
September 25th, 2003, 08:51 AM
Sorry about that...

http://www.globest.com/newyork.html

City Expects 1M SF of Developable Space in West Chelsea

By Barbara Jarvie
Last updated: Sep 24, 2003 05:30PM

NEW YORK CITY-A proposal for the area surrounding the High Line, an elevated steel railroad structure built in the 1930s, but not in use since 1980, would provide for more than one million sf of new residential and commercial development. The proposed Special West Chelsea District encompasses the areas of West 17th and 30th streets between Tenth and Eleventh avenues.

The current zoning of the area allows for light manufacturing and commercial uses. Under the proposal that would be changed to allow a greater density of residential and commercial uses along the avenues and in the mid blocks. Currently, these sites are dominated by parking garages and auto-related stores. The mid-block area is also known as a hotbed for art galleries--as many as 200 have opened their doors in recent years. Further development of galleries will be encouraged and museums will be permitted. The city planning department also anticipates upwards of 4,200 units of affordable and market-rate housing to be added to the district.

"This is a comprehensive, yet site specific plan," said Amanda Burden, director of the New York City Department of City Planning.

"We want to create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood," added Vishaan Chakrabarti, director, Manhattan office, New York City Department of City Planning.

The High Line aims to be the centerpiece for the entire area. In 1999, neighborhood residents founded Friends of the High Line with the mission of converting the structure to an elevated public space.. In December 2002, the city the first step in converting the High Line to a public walkway through federal rails-to-trails legislation. According to Friends, CSX, a rail and shipping company based in Richmond, VA, owns the High Line and the rail easement atop it. The land beneath the structure is owned in parcels by the state, the city and more than 20 private property owners. Earlier in the summer, New York City Council speaker Gifford Miller said there would be a $15.75 million funding commitment the High Line reconstruction. Total costs of the plan could not be determined as much of the funds will come from private sources.

New construction closest to the High Line will be governed by special controls that restrict height and setbacks. Property owners of the land beneath the High Line will receive a transfer of floor area to air space to buildings to the west. Another thought is to allow development such as restaurants if a developer agrees to also construct a stair or elevator for the High Line.

The plan goes before a scoping session in early October and a draft is expected in the spring. A plan for the High Line is expected to be unveiled next summer and the zoning changes could take effect in the fall of 2004.

billyblancoNYC
September 25th, 2003, 08:52 AM
City announces High Line plan

by Anne Michaud

The Department of City Planning announced today that it will allow land owners under the High Line to sell air rights to residential developers along 10th and 11th avenues, potentially erasing any major objection to refashioning the old railway into an elevated promenade park.

The plan for the High Line--a 1.6-mile stretch of abandoned track that runs from West 17th Street to West 30th Street between 10th and 11th avenues--is part of the city’s push to extend midtown Manhattan's business district west to the Hudson River, an initiative that includes the construction of a new Jets stadium. Also called Hudson Yards, the project would dovetail with rezoning West Chelsea.

Property owners South of 30th Street have objected to the city taking over the structure, now that the elevated train no longer uses the tracks. To mollify property owners, city planners proposed the air rights deal at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The city is also considering a "bonus" package, in which it would pay property owners for building a staircase or elevator to the High Line, in exchange for the right to develop property below it. Vishaan Chakrabarti, director of the planning department's Manhattan office, said the city will encourage single-story development under the line, such as restaurants and art galleries.

An advocacy group, the Friends of the High Line, is charged with coming up with a design for a 16,000-square-foot park at the foot of the line at 17th Street.


Copyright 2003, Crain Communications, Inc

Kris
September 25th, 2003, 09:18 AM
Where does the first article come from, Billy? Always mention it.

billyblancoNYC
September 25th, 2003, 09:45 AM
www.thevillager.com

By Albert Amateau


City Planning Commission Chairperson Amanda Burden and her staff last week presented the city’s plan for the future of West Chelsea to nearly 100 people who attended a Community Board 4 forum.


The plan involves creating a Special West Chelsea District in the area now zoned for manufacturing between 10th and 11th Aves. from 16th to 30th Sts., with the stretch between 16th and 18th Sts. extending east of 10th Ave.


The plan calls for high-rise residential buildings along the avenues and a special art gallery-friendly manufacturing zone in the middle of the district. It specifies low-rise development adjacent to the High Line, the now-derelict 1.5-mile railroad viaduct west of 10th Ave., which the city now hopes to transform into an elevated park.


Characterized as “revolutionary” by Community Board 4 chairperson Walter Mankoff, the West Chelsea plan comes after more than a year of consultations between City Planning staff and members of the community board, which has developed its own alternative version.


Although the board and the city agree on the general outlines of the plan, serious differences remain concerning the height of residential development along the avenues and specific guarantees for the creation of affordable housing.


Community board members have a special problem with the City Planning proposal to allow a 400-ft.-tall residential tower to be developed in what is now a parking lot on the block between 17th and 18th Sts. where the High Line crosses from the east side to the west side of 10th Ave.


Nevertheless, Burden told the Sept. 18 forum at the Fulton Senior Center in Chelsea that the plan was “very respectful of the neighborhood.” She said, “It will assure that all building forms will respect existing buildings in the [Chelsea Historic District] to the east and the manufacturing buildings to the west. We have many areas of agreement and some areas of discussion. We don’t think of it as revolutionary; we see it as planning for the future.”


The plan, she added, “would facilitate the reuse of the High Line, the elevated railroad that runs from the fabulous new Meat Market [Gansevoort Market Historic District] all the way to the end of the Special District.” The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Gansevoort Market Historic District between Gansevoort and W. 14th Sts. earlier this month and the City Planning Commission is expected to approve the designation soon.


The next step in the West Chelsea planning process is a scooping session on Thurs. Oct. 2 at the City Planning Department auditorium at 22 Reade St. for an environmental assessment study. A draft environmental impact statement is expected to be certified by City Planning in the spring of next year and the district could become part of the zoning law in the fall of 2004.


Assemblymember Richard Gottfried was concerned about the effect of the plan on artists who live and work in buildings not included in the 1982 Loft Law that legalized loft studios in manufacturing buildings. He estimated that 150 residents in the proposed district are at risk. The proposed special district calls for allowing museums in the manufacturing zone, a use not included in manufacturing zones outside the special district, Gottfried pointed out.


“Protecting loft tenants does not mean we have to jeopardize the manufacturing zone,” Gottfried said. “City Planning has to figure it out, the same way it figured out how to allow museums in the manufacturing zone.” Gottfried insisted that the issue be included in the environmental assessment study.


The day after the forum, City Planning phoned Gottfried to say the department would study ways to protect loft residents in the West Chelsea Special District manufacturing zone.


William Traylor, deputy commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, told the forum that state and city programs could be used to encourage affordable housing in the proposed special district. He also noted that the city controlled sites just outside the district that could include affordable housing. Burden and Veeshan Chakrabarti, City Planning director for Manhattan, also assured the gathering last week that the plan would “include a significant proportion of affordable housing.”


But for community board members including Velma Hill, of Chelsea, and elected officials like Gottfried and City Councilmember Christine Quinn, the statements were not enough.


“I’d like to see some numbers,” said Hill, who noted that City Planning estimated the Special District could include 4,300 new apartments. But she protested that there was no guarantee that any of them would be below market rate. “I’d say to developers, ‘You have to give a little,’ If they can’t, we don’t want them in our neighborhood,” Hill said.


Jimmy Pelsey, a community board member and president of the Tenants Association of the Fulton Houses, a city Housing Authority development, questioned whether current income eligibility standards would help working families. “How much will it take for working families to live in these magnificent building that are going to go up? Everybody doesn’t have a $30,000 a year job. You must build housing for people who can’t afford housing,” Pelsey said.


Most programs that offer incentives to build housing that is 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable are geared for families of four that earn 50 percent of median income. Median income in the West Chelsea area is about $62,000.


Janice McGuire, a board member and director of the Hudson Guild, said housing for middle-income and low-income families should be written into the plan.


Lee Compton, co-chairperson of the community board’s Chelsea Planning Committee, lauded the plan as an “ingenious and artistic approach to zoning,” but he said there was a big problem with the proposal for a 400-ft residential tower on the parking lot west of 10th Avenue between 17th and 18th Sts.,


“It’s absurd in relation to the context of the neighborhood. There is nothing remotely like it,” Compton said. The community board recommends a height limit of 280 ft. for the site, Compton added.


City Planning proposed the taller height limit on the parking lot on the west side of the High Line in exchange for a public space on the east side of the viaduct, which would serve as a plaza for “a grand entrance” to the viaduct when it becomes a public park.


But immediately adjacent to the High Line, the city would allow one- or two-story buildings that could accommodate uses like cafés at the High Line level. Property owners along the High Line would be able to sell development rights to residential developers in the high-rise zones along 10th and 11th Aves. and in the north end of the district between 28th and 30th Sts.


For many Chelsea residents, the proposed height limits of 125 to 145 ft. along 10th Ave. are far out of scale with most of the neighborhood on the east side of the avenue. Mary Swartz, president of the Chelsea 400 Block Association, which covers blocks between Ninth and 10th Aves., said the high-rises would create a wall between the special district and the rest of Chelsea. She backs an 80-ft. height limit.


Bruce Smith, development director of the General Theological Seminary, said the height of proposed development along 10th Ave. was out of scale with the five-story buildings of the seminary, which is in the Chelsea Historic District. Smith also urged specific provisions for affordable housing.


Frank Eady, a board member and Chelsea resident for 30 years, called for creation of a Chelsea Waterfront District west of 11th Ave.


Hilda Regier, a former community board member, declared that the height of buildings should taper down toward the waterfront. She also took issue with City Planning’s characterization of “noxious uses” regarding auto repair shops. “Some uses you find noxious are useful for the people who live here,” she said.

Kris
September 25th, 2003, 01:37 PM
Thanks.

Kris
September 26th, 2003, 12:10 AM
Special West Chelsea District Rezoning Proposal (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/westchelsea/westchelsea1.html)

Kris
November 1st, 2003, 10:16 PM
November 2, 2003

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

From Rail to Ruin

By KENNETH T. JACKSON

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/11/02/opinion/02JACK.large.jpg
Abelardo Morell

Manhattan has secrets. Despite millions of daytime residents and hundreds of skyscrapers, it has places as unexpected and out-of-the way as Emily Dickinson's home in Amherst, Mass. One thinks of Chumley's, a former speakeasy on Bedford Street; of Pomander Walk, a private row of Tudor-style cottages out of sight between 94th and 95th Streets; of Sylvan Terrace, a pedestrian-only passageway to the Morris-Jumel mansion with a set of matched wooden row houses; and of half a hundred other spots unknown to ordinary passersby.

But the quirkiest and most invisible place in all of New York City is the High Line, an elevated railroad spur stretching 1.45 miles from the Jacob Javits Convention Center to Gansevoort Street in the once grimy (and now fashionable) meatpacking district. A concrete and steel structure two stories above the sidewalk, it is so big that anyone can see it, but so nondescript and so much a part of the urban landscape that it mostly goes unnoticed.

The High Line was once the southernmost part of Manhattan's major freight route. Built in 1866, the 13-mile-long New York Central and Hudson River Railroad entered the island at Inwood and then ran alongside the Hudson River (through what later became Riverside Park) to 72nd Street. The tracks then continued south on city streets, mostly 11th Avenue, to St. John's Park, bordered by Varick, Hudson, Beach and Laight Streets just below Canal Street. Because the route was at grade all the way, it disrupted traffic and was so dangerous that a rider on horseback had to ride in front of the trains with a red flag. Even so, it earned its nickname, "Death Avenue," honestly.

The High Line was conceived in the late 1920's. One purpose of the $100 million project was to eliminate "Death Avenue" by putting the tracks below grade between 60th and 34th Streets and then two stories above the ground south of that point. Another purpose was to stimulate manufacturing in what was then the most productive and important industrial city in the world. To achieve this end, the two-story High Line viaduct would run through the middle of the block between 10th and 11th Avenues, passing either over or through the structures along the way, making deliveries of raw materials, milk and meat directly into warehouses or factories that were built to allow a train to run through them.

The most difficult engineering feat involved sending heavy freight trains directly through the famed Bell Telephone Laboratories building at Bethune Street. In order to eliminate vibrations that would have disrupted precision instruments, the railroad built caissons independent of the building. Other new structures that accommodated the viaduct included buildings for Swift & Company, the Cudahy Packing Company, and the National Biscuit Company (now the site of Chelsea Market).

The High Line was a good idea. Unfortunately, it didn't work. When the first train rumbled along the track on Aug. 1, 1933, making a delivery to the warehouse of R. C. Williams & Company at 25th Street, manufacturing in New York City was already in decline, the nation was in the middle of the Depression and railroads were languishing across the land. By 1938, more than 77,500 track miles, one-third of the national total, were in receivership.

The High Line had only a few good years, and those were mostly during World War II, when Gotham was the major transshipment point for troops, weapons and supplies heading for the European theater of operations. But after Americans rediscovered their cars and trucks in the postwar years, railroads resumed their long decline. Between the end of the war and 1970, New York area railroads lost half their freight tonnage. The High Line was no exception. Built to last for centuries, it carried its final train, loaded, perhaps apocryphally, with frozen turkeys, in 1980.

Twenty-three years later the High Line still stands. When I first walked along the abandoned tracks in 1982, access to the structure was easy, via any of several sets of stairs. When I ventured up there this fall, I had to have an escort and sign a waiver. But the hassle was worth it. For once I stepped onto the tracks, I entered another world. On a cool New York morning, I saw hyacinths, irises, onion grass and a lone apple tree. The only living creatures I saw were of the winged variety, and they probably find it a blessed miracle that a quiet resting place is available in such an improbable place. (There are no people up there regularly, so no food and thus no rats.)

In places, the track is lined with Art Deco railings. Within these incongruously elegant bounds, vegetation has taken over the rail bed, creating a narrow green walkway past funky nightclubs, aging factories and warehouses, and both old and new apartment buildings. The juxtaposition of high density urban development with hardy urban nature is nowhere on earth so stark or so exciting.

Sadly, the entire structure is off limits to ordinary citizens, which is necessary because the path is uneven and tricky, the old stairways have rusted and broken glass is a threat. And even if you are willing to ignore "No Trespassing" signs and the possibility of arrest, you must be skinny, young and adventurous to slither under, over, or through the barricades.

New York deserves better. The High Line deserves better. A failure as a railroad, it can be successful in a new role more appropriate for 21st century New York. Just as everyone loves Central Park because its meadows and glades allow us to forget that we are in the midst of a huge city, a High Line Park could become a public open space of an altogether different sort, a place that celebrates density and diversity, that shows us how nature can persevere in even the grittiest circumstances, that enables us to understand history not through a book or through a movie but through our own eyes. There is even some precedent for the idea of transforming the High Line into a greenspace. Ten years ago, Paris made an elevated park, the Promenade Plantée, out of an abandoned train viaduct.

Fortunately, the stars are in alignment for such a venture. One group, the Friends of the High Line, has been mobilizing support for the notion for several years now. And while Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani favored tearing down the structure and opening the area to development, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and the City Council as a whole have all publicly endorsed the idea of a public park on the railroad bed. The Republican leadership, in town next summer for their convention, could be enlisted in the effort. And couldn't a High Line Park be incorporated in plans to help lure the Olympics to town in 2012?

Cynical New Yorkers will believe it when they see it. There are a host of development, zoning, and legal issues that could easily undermine the plan or delay it for so long that the High Line could become the West Side version of the Second Avenue Subway. We all know of exciting proposals that never made it beyond the drawing board.

We can't let that happen to the High Line. New York needs more spaces to breathe, more spaces where the city can celebrate its past and its uniqueness. The Hudson River metropolis is not the prettiest or the cleanest or the easiest city in which to live. But it has grown to prominence over the past four centuries by giving people, places and ideas a second chance. The Tweed Courthouse scandalized the nation when it was built 130 years ago, and for decades it stood as a symbol of urban corruption. Recently renovated and refurbished, it now stands in elegance and floodlights as the home of the Department of Education. The High Line can be another story of redemption in New York.

Kenneth T. Jackson, professor of history at Columbia University, is president of the New-York Historical Society. Abelardo Morell, professor of art at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, is author of ‘‘A Book of Books.’’

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
November 10th, 2003, 06:51 PM
The competition entry by Gisue Hariri of Hariri and Hariri:

http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/highline1.jpg
http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/highline2.jpg
http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/highline5.jpg

http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/111003.html

Kris
January 15th, 2004, 01:47 AM
http://homepage.mac.com/paytonc/highline

http://www.bluejake.com/images/2002_highline/index.htm

Kris
March 1st, 2004, 12:45 PM
Friends of the High Line and NYC Issue Request for Qualifications for High Line Master Plan (http://www.archnewsnow.com/features/Feature131.htm)

Kris
March 15th, 2004, 01:19 PM
The Greening of the High Line (http://www.gothamgazette.com/community/3/majorissues/86)

Kris
April 17th, 2004, 03:31 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Jets toss lifeline to the High Line

By MICHAEL SAUL
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU

Friday, April 16th, 2004

The Jets plan to tear down a piece of the High Line elevated railway and then rebuild a portion as an entrance to a new West Side stadium, the Daily News has learned.

The Jets also propose to link the abandoned 1.45-mile line to a new park created above the West Side Highway.

The team plans to dismantle about a quarter-mile of the line and rebuild half that section to connect to the proposed 75,000-seat football stadium.

The High Line, built in the 1930s to remove dangerous trains from Manhattan's streets, spans 22 blocks from 34th St. to Gansevoort St. No trains have run on it since 1980.

Below the line on 30th St. between 11th and 12th Aves., the Jets are proposing a new street market that would feature art, antiques, crafts and furniture.

The Jets' plans for the High Line will be formally unveiled today at a day-long Regional Plan Association forum on the far West Side.

In March, Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki announced a $2.8 billion plan to build a stadium for the football team and expand the Javits Convention Center, including $1.3 billion in public funding.

Last year, city officials announced an ambitious plan to transform the rail line into an elevated park. Jets executives said their proposal complements that plan.

"We think that the New York Sports and Convention Center can breathe new life into the High Line," said Thad Sheely, the Jets' vice president for development.

The proposal has some strong backers.

"We're pleased that the New York Jets have recognized the value of the High Line and made its preservation and reuse a priority," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of the Friends of the High Line.

But City Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Chelsea), who is against the stadium, called the Jets' High Line proposal "a drop in the bucket."

Brian Hatch, who runs NewYorkGames.org, which also opposes the stadium, said the High Line should be preserved in its entirety. "When we get the stadium moved to Queens, we can come up with a plan for that area that will preserve the High Line," he said.

thomasjfletcher
April 19th, 2004, 02:24 PM
Sorry-
in July somebody asked me about access points-

ACCESS- for those interested

you can walk up the ramp at 34th and Tenth

or use the stairs in Chelsea, at 17th and Tenth Ave

(opposite the Park Restaurant)

be careful

also, see the link
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/CHE/CHE029-TheHighLine.htm

for some more pix and downloadable plan and section .dwgs.
cheers
tom

Kris
April 26th, 2004, 11:43 AM
SEVEN DESIGN TEAMS SHORT-LISTED FOR HIGH LINE MASTER PLAN
TEAM SELECTION EXPECTED IN FALL 2004

April 20, 2004—Friends of the High Line (FHL) and the City of New York announced today that seven teams of architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, and other design professionals are invited to compete to create a master plan for the High Line, an elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side.

Each of the seven teams is led by an architecture, landscape architecture, or planning firm, or two or more firms joined in collaborative leadership. In alphabetical order:

• Field Operations (James Corner); Diller + Scofidio + Renfro
• Zaha Hadid Architects
• Steven Holl Architects
• Latz + Partner; The Saratoga Associates
• Rogers Marvel Architects; Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
• OpenMeshWork.ORG: OpenOffice (Lyn Rice); Mesh Architectures (Eric Liftin); Work Architecture Company (Amale Andraos, Dan Wood)
• TerraGRAM: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; D.I.R.T. Studio (Julie Bargmann); Beyer Blinder Belle (Neil Kittredge)

The teams were selected from 52 responses to a Request for Qualifications that was released jointly by the City of New York and FHL on March 1, 2004. The conversion of the High Line to public open space has been a shared goal of the City and FHL since December 2002, when the City filed a federal petition to convert the structure to public open space through the federal "rail-banking" program.

"We are thrilled that teams of this caliber will be considered to transform the High Line into one of the most unique and exciting public spaces in the City of New York," said City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden. "This process will form the backbone of one of the most significant aspects of the Bloomberg Administration's redevelopment plans for Manhattan's west side, enhancing the desirability of West Chelsea and the Hudson Yards to the north, as well as serving as an attraction for visitors to New York City. We are excited to be working with Friends of the High Line in this joint effort to convert the High Line into a spectacular public amenity."

Next Steps in the Selection Process: 2-Stage RFP and Team Selection

Each of the seven short-listed firms will now receive the first stage of a Request for Proposals (RFP), which asks them to further detail their proposed approach to the High Line's conversion. Based on their responses, the seven teams will be narrowed down to three finalists. Those finalists will receive the second stage of the RFP, requesting graphic representations of possible design concepts for the Line as a whole. The selection of a design team is expected by Fall 2004.

"It's important to emphasize that we're selecting a team through this process-not a final design or master plan," said Robert Hammond, Co-Founder, Friends of the High Line. "Starting this fall, the team we select will work with active participation from the community and other affected stakeholders to develop a master plan that makes the most of the amazing opportunity offered by the High Line."

Recent Funding Progress

On March 25, Congressman Jerrold Nadler included $5 million for the High Line in the House version of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), the six-year federal transportation bill. The bill must still go through a House and Senate conference process and be signed by the President.

Earlier this year, $500,000 for the High Line was secured by Senators Schumer and Clinton and Congressman Nadler in the 2004 Transportation Bill. In July 2003, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million commitment in capital funds for the High Line's conversion to public open space. In Fall 2003, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried announced a $50,000 High Line allocation.

Project History

The High Line, a 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side, was built in the 1930s to remove freight trains from City streets. It hasn't been used for rail freight since 1980. In December, 2002, the City petitioned the federal board with jurisdiction over the Line to convert it to an elevated pedestrian walkway and public open space.

In 2003, Friends of the High Line sponsored "Designing the High Line," an open, international ideas competition. 720 entrants from 36 countries submitted ideas, many of which were exhibited at Grand Central Terminal in July 2003.

"The team selection process for the master plan is very different from the ideas competition," said Hammond. "The competition was to generate exciting, visionary ideas, but those ideas didn't have to be build-able or make economic sense. The process we're going through now will lead to a design for the High Line that is as spectacular and unusual as the High Line itself-a design that can be built and maintained so that this great new amenity stays beautiful and compelling in the decades ahead, a retreat that New Yorkers will want to return to again and again."

For updates on the design team selection process and all other news related to the High Line, please go to http://www.thehighline.org and subscribe to FHL's E-Mail Newsletter.

Contact: Robert Hammond, (212) 206-9922; robert@thehighline.org

thomasjfletcher
May 3rd, 2004, 09:19 AM
Was up the highline again a couple of days ago. Spring has sprung up there, but it still isn't anywhere near its screaming midsummer glory. We went up the ramp at 34th (deftly skirting the security guard- not difficult) and walked all the way along. Was good. We found that the traditional exit - the stairs in the carpark opposite the Park restaurant on tenth- were very well chained and razorwired, so we had to walk all the way back. Was nice anyway. There were some very precarious exit points but we decided that we were too old for that kind of thing.


http://thomasjfletcher.com/IMAGES/highline26.jpg

http://thomasjfletcher.com/IMAGES/highline28.jpg

http://thomasjfletcher.com/IMAGES/highline42.jpg

the full series can be seen at-
http://nyc-architecture.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=5

cheers

Tom

NYatKNIGHT
May 5th, 2004, 04:35 PM
You guys make a walk on the Highline more fun than I ever had up there. Maybe I should bring beer next time.

Moe14
May 19th, 2004, 05:42 PM
They supposedly cleaned it up a little while ago, but I was up there about a week afterward and it looked the damn same to me.

It's not too precarious to get down on W. 13th street - plus it's like a fun obstable course, and it really requires pretty minimal athleticism. I'd bet some kids even climb up that way. Someone even put a ladder up to the hole in the roof of the loading dock to help you out. And you can catch a beer at Hogs and Heifers right down the block afterward!

I really don't think that security guard - or anyone - much cares if people climb up there (a good thing, because people do it all the time). Which somewhat surprises me because it passes over the LIRR Rail Yards.

thomasjfletcher
May 24th, 2004, 04:35 PM
FRONT-PAGE LOS ANGELES TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT THE HIGH LINE

On Saturday, May 15, the Los Angeles Times ran a comprehensive front-page article by Robert Lee Hotz about FHL's efforts to preserve and reuse the High Line. Along with its prominent placement and its thoughtful reporting, the article is notable for the way it defines the High Line as a project of national significance and includes details about other elevated rail-trail projects in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Rotterdam that have been influenced by FHL's work.

COLUMN ONE
An Eden Above the City

An abandoned overhead railway in Manhattan is an eyesore to many. But others see untapped potential in the rare open space.


http://www.thehighline.org/press/articles/latimes_051504/12639734.jpg

Seeing Potential
(Tina Fineberg / For The Times)

http://www.thehighline.org/press/articles/latimes_051504/12639702.jpg

Unused Open Space
(Tina Fineberg / For The Times)
Graphics


A long walk waiting
May 15, 2004
Times Headlines

An Eden Above the City


By Robert Lee Hotz, Times Staff Writer


NEW YORK — In the warrens of Manhattan, a meadow hovers above the asphalt outwash of warehouses and abandoned factories.

It flowers on a vacant viaduct with a seasonal canopy of Queen Anne's lace, purple aster, hyacinth, wild cherry, scallions, moss and iris — seeded by vagrant birds and the wind.

They call it the High Line.

The derelict ribbon of elevated railway threads through the upper stories of Manhattan's far West Side for almost 1 1/2 miles.

The tracks, unused for nearly a quarter-century, disappear into warehouses and dodge between buildings in an architectural game of hide-and-seek.

While thousands of people scurry under its stained steel supports every day, unaware of what is overhead, the High Line has become nature's own urban renewal project.

Ambitious redevelopment plans also are blooming here.

Where generations of New Yorkers had only seen a rusting eyesore that blocked the light, two urban pioneers saw the potential for a park in a metropolis starved for open space. After all, local soccer leagues play matches on a rooftop and golfers practice fairway drives on a pier.

When freelance writer Joshua David and painter Robert Hammond first followed their curiosity over a barbed-wire fence onto the High Line five years ago, they found themselves on an elevated avenue of greenery that overlooked the art galleries of Chelsea and the designer boutiques of the Meatpacking District — two of the city's newly fashionable neighborhoods.

To the west, there were shimmering vistas of the Hudson River; to the east, the Empire State Building towered.

The abandoned railway, the pair realized, could become a place where pedestrians could stroll unimpeded for 22 blocks, suspended nearly 30 feet in places above the hustle of the streets.

"It is a beautiful, dreamy, evocative landscape … a unique urban ecosystem," David said. "Yet it was relatively invisible."

People can't easily reach the High Line from the street. The stairways have vanished and the entrances — although hidden — are protected by padlocks and railroad security.

David and Hammond were galvanized by the idea that an open space of such magnitude could exist in New York City and that no one could get to it.

The pair launched the Friends of the High Line preservation drive, which quickly became one of the city's most fashionable causes. Today, it has about 6,000 supporters and a $1-million annual budget. There is a staff of seven, a newsletter, a promotional video, a website and an ambitious outreach program. A yearly fundraiser, hosted by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and actor Edward Norton, has become a staple on New York's society pages.

"They have been very creative in generating a buzz and engaging people," said Frank Uffen, managing director of New Amsterdam Consultants, a firm involved in redeveloping a mile-long viaduct in downtown Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Architects and designers now nurture visions of an urban wilderness on the High Line — along with schemes for windmill farms, botanical gardens, an aerial tramway and, improbably, overhead cow pastures, all connected to the street by elevators and stairs.

One designer offered a plan for turning the rail line into an inner-city roller coaster. Another proposed creation of a High Line swimming pool, with lap lanes 1 1/2 miles long.

This month, David and Hammond are helping city planners evaluate seven design teams competing to oversee development of a master plan. The seven were picked in April from 52 groups of architects, urban planners and landscape designers.

David and Hammond estimate the price tag for renovation and landscaping will be $40 million to $60 million, to be paid with public and private funds.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Vintage viaducts are the newest enthusiasm of urban preservationists recycling America's past.

Community groups from Chicago to Philadelphia to the Florida Keys have mobilized to turn the abandoned rail lines into parks — many inspired by the transformation of a crumbling 19th century Parisian viaduct into a 3-mile-long botanical garden.

The Promenade Plantee, which opened in 1998, is linked by elevators and stairways to the Avenue Daumesnil nearby. In the space beneath its 60 stone arches, Paris urban planners encouraged construction of art galleries, cafes and artisans' studios.

As much as anything, said transportation archeologist Thomas Flagg, the reclamation projects have arisen from a change of heart toward abandoned industrial structures.

Nostalgia for a vanishing manufacturing economy joins with post-modern artistic sensibilities and, driven by real estate speculation, blight becomes beauty.

"All the space is getting filled in," said Ben Helphand, who recently helped organize Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail to reclaim 37 rail bridges along Chicago's North Side. "What do you have left but these unused industrial areas?

"You see them in a new light. The reinvention of these is happening all over the place."

In Florida, state park planners are piecing together the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail by converting unused rail lines and reclaiming 17 railroad bridges. They expect the trail to run 106 miles, from Key Largo to Key West.

In the same spirit, Philadelphia neighborhood activists last year organized to transform a 4.7-mile-long elevated railway called the Reading Viaduct into a pedestrian parkway.

"We have been living with this thing for a long time and dreaming it could be something else," said local artist Sarah McEneaney, who helped organize the preservation drive.

"It goes through all these different neighborhoods that are not really tied together. The viaduct could become a community bridge."

What spurred her to take action?

One day, she heard Joshua David at a neighborhood meeting describe his hopes for the High Line.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The High Line, bordering 10th Avenue, is 296,000 square feet of undeveloped space in a city where a $1-million, two-bedroom apartment can fit into 980 square feet.

Completed in 1934, it was part of the $125-million West Side Improvement Project, which was an astronomical public investment for the height of the Depression.

The project was designed to speed rail shipments to the area's factories, while also removing a major public danger.

By raising the railroad above street level, officials eliminated dozens of hazardous track crossings: So many pedestrians had been killed or maimed in rail accidents that the street had come to be known as "Death Avenue."

The viaduct, broad enough to carry two freight trains at a time, snakes past third-story windows and through elevated warehouse sidings.

When the High Line was built, the project required private right-of-way agreements through 350 properties, according to records of the New York Central Railroad, which originally owned it. A total of 640 buildings had to be removed.

The last train rolled down those tracks in 1980, carrying a load of frozen turkeys. By that time, trucks had overtaken trains as the preferred method for freight shipments. The West Side industries the viaduct served also had withered. Factories and warehouses were shuttered.

People have been fighting over the future of the High Line ever since.

Conrail now owns the line through a subsidiary, and CSX, the railroad conglomerate, has managed the structure since 1999. While the railroad has been studiously neutral about the fate of the High Line, officials are eager to see some resolution, said CSX project management consultant Lauri Izes.

The parcels of land directly beneath the viaduct are owned by New York state, New York City and 20 private owners — many of whom have long sought its demolition.

The High Line is, at its essence, a right of passage.

The easement in the air that the railroad created allowed movement across so many public and private boundaries that it would be impossible to re-create today, community planners say.

If the physical structure were demolished, that intangible asset would vanish as well.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In a city that seethes with real estate schemes and redevelopment intrigue, Hammond and David have orchestrated a dramatic reversal.

Five years ago, demolition of the High Line seemed all but assured. Landlords and small businesses that owned the land directly below the High Line were eager to see it cleared away, in the hope that their property values would soar.

Today, reclamation and renovation appear almost certain.

"They have taken the momentum away from the developers who wanted to tear it down," Flagg said. "Their dedication to creating a public good out of all this seems to be carrying the day."

When Hammond, 34, and David, 40, began their quest, there was virtually unanimous political support for demolition of the High Line.

Now, Republican Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has endorsed the project, as have the state's two Democratic U.S. senators, Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller recently earmarked $15 million to plan and design the park, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) included $5 million for the High Line in the House version of the pending six-year federal transportation bill.

The state has yet to weigh in. Federal approvals needed for the park project are in abeyance, partly because the commissions involved have long lacked enough members for a valid vote.

"We still have a ways to go," Hammond said. "There are hurdles. Political coalitions are always fragile."

But if all goes according to plan, work could begin this fall on a final design. A competition last year drew 720 design proposals from 36 countries, many of which were exhibited at Grand Central Terminal. These all were exercises in imagination, meant only to explore the possibilities.

Before any real design begins, city officials must choose a team from among the seven candidates under consideration. That team will help manage development of final plans. Those plans must be approved by the city.

For all the fashionable enthusiasm, however, the future of the High Line depends in large measure on the fate of other ambitious projects proposed for this section of Manhattan.

The line begins to the north, at the site of the New York Jets' proposed stadium along the Hudson River. The football team wants to turn a quarter-mile of the High Line into a pedestrian walkway that would lead into a 75,000-seat stadium. An expansion of the nearby convention center also is being debated.

The viaduct ends to the south over Gansevoort Market in the Meatpacking District, where David and Hammond recently opened a third-floor office for the High Line group they founded.

The view from their window encompasses the past and the future of the High Line neighborhoods.

On one side of the street below, meatpackers in bloody aprons shovel fresh offal from the cobblestones by the Dumpster load. Animal carcasses swing on conveyor hooks along the sidewalk for the purveyors of fresh shin meats, pork and beef.

Across the way, retailers cater to the appetite for fresh attitude. Art galleries, fusion restaurants and stylish boutiques line the street. Stella McCartney and other designers have opened shops.

As unmistakable evidence that the gentry are homesteading here, city planners last year declared the market area a historic preservation district.

City planners also unveiled a rezoning proposal to turn the adjacent High Line neighborhoods into a special redevelopment district.

If approved, the proposal would allow construction of up to 4,200 high-rise apartments and condominiums. The zoning plan would, however, preserve the line and the local warehouses that have become home to more than 200 art galleries.

A harbinger of the streetscape to come can be found at the viaduct's midpoint, where neglect and urban renewal have fostered a modest neighborhood revival.

There, by the corner of West 23rd Street and 10th Avenue, author and Vanity Fair writer Sebastian Junger recently opened a sidewalk cafe. Students, French tourists and local artists loll in the shade cast by the High Line's Art Deco balustrade.

The front of the art galley next door is clad in steel plates that consciously echo the patina of the railroad viaduct.

For now, the High Line passing overhead remains an afterthought.

Wreathed in grape hyacinth, its bulwarks frame parking signs, vintage graffiti and a set of garish billboards.

Gallery-goers mill along the sidewalks, oblivious to the possibilities taking root in the relic above them.

thomasjfletcher
May 28th, 2004, 11:08 AM
FOUR FINALIST TEAMS SELECTED FOR HIGH LINE MASTER PLAN
Proposals on Display at the Center for Architecture from
July 15 through August 14

May 28, 2004—Friends of the High Line (FHL) and the City of New York announced today that four teams of renowned architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, and other professionals have been selected as finalists to create a master plan for the High Line, an elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side.

"Transforming the High Line into a unique and accessible elevated park will be one of the most important things we will do for future generations in New York City," said Amanda M. Burden, Chair of the City Planning Commission. "The team we choose must be of a caliber that matches that important task. Fortunately, we are selecting from among the finest minds in architecture and landscape design, whose team submissions demonstrate the creative vision necessary for this project. I am thrilled to be taking part in selecting these talented finalists."

Each team is led by an architecture firm, a landscape architecture firm, or multiple firms joined in collaborative leadership. Below, team leads and principal consultants, in alphabetical order. Full team listings can be found at the end of this document:

• Field Operations, landscape architects; Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, architects; Olafur Eliasson, artist; Piet Oudolf, horticulture; Halie Light & L’Observatoire International, lighting.
• Zaha Hadid Architects, architects; Balmori Associates, landscape architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (Marilyn Jordan Taylor), architects; studio MDA (Markus Dochantschi), architects.
• Steven Holl Architects, architects; Hargreaves Associates, landscape design; HNTB, technical design.
• TerraGRAM: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, landscape architects; D.I.R.T. Studio (Julie Bargmann), industrial site design; Beyer Blinder Belle (Neil Kittredge), urban design.


Team Visions on Display at the Center for Architecture July 15 – August 14
The design approaches of the finalist teams will be exhibited at the Center for Architecture starting Thursday, July 15, when an opening night panel discussion will be moderated by Rick Bell, Executive Director of AIA New York Chapter. The exhibition will run through August 14.

Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012
(212) 683-0023
Open Monday through Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday, 11am to 5pm


Team Selection Process
The process of selecting a design team for the High Line master plan began on March 1, 2004, when the City of New York and FHL jointly issued a Request for Qualifications, eliciting 52 responses. A short list of seven teams was announced on April 20, and these short-listed teams received a two-stage Request for Proposals (RFP). On May 27, a Steering Committee of City and FHL representatives selected the four finalist teams based on their responses to the first stage of the RFP.


Next Steps
The four finalist teams will submit responses to the second stage of the RFP in early July. Those responses will include visions for the High Line as a whole, and they will specifically address access systems, the High Line's interaction with neighboring buildings, and treatment of the structure's underside and its relation to the street. This work will be the focus of the July 15 – August 14 exhibition at the Center for Architecture. It will also inform the final team selection, which will be made later this summer.

"It's important to emphasize that we're selecting a team through this process, not a final design or master plan," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line. "Once selected, the team will work with the community, FHL, the City, and all other interested stakeholders to develop the master plan."


Recent Funding Progress
On March 25, Congressman Jerrold Nadler included $5 million for the High Line in the House version of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), the six-year federal transportation bill. The bill must still go through a House and Senate conference process and be signed by the President.

Earlier this year, Senators Schumer and Clinton and Congressman Nadler secured $500,000 for the High Line in the 2004 Transportation Appropriations bill. In July 2003, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million commitment in capital funds for the High Line's conversion to public open space. In Fall 2003, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried announced a $50,000 High Line allocation.


Project History
The High Line, a 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure on Manhattan's West Side running from 34th Street to Gansevoort Street, was built in the 1930s to remove freight trains from City streets. It has not been used for rail freight since 1980. In December, 2002, the City petitioned the federal board with jurisdiction over the Line to convert it to an elevated pedestrian walkway and public open space.

In 2003, Friends of the High Line sponsored "Designing the High Line," an open, international ideas competition. 720 entrants from 36 countries submitted ideas, many of which were exhibited at Grand Central Terminal in July 2003.

"The team selection process for the master plan is very different from the ideas competition," said Hammond. "The competition was to generate exciting, visionary ideas, but those ideas didn't have to be buildable or make economic sense. The process we're going through now will lead to a design for the High Line that is as spectacular and unusual as the High Line itself—a design that can be built and maintained so that this great new amenity stays beautiful and compelling in the decades ahead, a retreat that New Yorkers will want to return to again and again."

For updates on the design team selection process and all other news related to the High Line, please go to http://www.thehighline.org and subscribe to FHL's E-Mail Newsletter.


Complete Listings of Finalist Team Members
• Field Operations, landscape architects; Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, architects; Olafur Eliasson, artist; Piet Oudolf, horticulture; Halie Light & L’Observatoire International, lighting; Mathews-Nielsen, landscape architecture; Buro Happold, structural engineering; Philip Habib Associates, traffic engineering and zoning; ETM Associates, park operation; The Williams Group, economic analysis; VJ Associates, cost estimating; Creative Time, public art; Paula Scher of Pentagram, graphics; Bonakdar Gallery, public outreach; Ducibella, Venter & Santore, security; Robert Silman Associates, structural engineering and historic preservation; Code Consultants, compliance; GRB Environmental Services, environmental engineering and testing.
• Zaha Hadid Architects, architects; Balmori Associates, landscape architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (Marilyn Jordan Taylor), architects; studio MDA (Markus Dochantschi), architects; Creative Time, public art; The Kitchen, public art; Public Art Fund, public art; Environmental Risk, Inc., hazardous material testing; Iros Elevator Design, elevator, escalator consultant; Halie Light & L’Observatoire International, lighting; Arup, structure, MEP, acoustic, security, transport, geotechnical, sustainability; Langan Engineering, environmental engineering; Davis Langdon Adamson, cost estimator; William Dailey, building code expeditor; Pentagram, graphic design.
• Steven Holl Architects, architects; Hargreaves Associates, landscape design; HNTB, technical design; Schall & Russo, outreach consulting; Halie Light & L’Observatoire International, lighting; Martin and Mildred Friedman, public arts; David Langdon Adamson, cost; Metropolis, code; Catherine Seavitt Studio, landscape architecture; Bioengineering Group, Inc., sustainable site development; AKRF, environmental strategy planning; Guy Nordenson Associates, structural engineering; Munoz Engineering, surveying; Arup, MEP engineering; ETM Associates, public space management.
• TerraGRAM: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, landscape architects; D.I.R.T. Studio (Julie Bargmann), industrial site design; Beyer Blinder Belle (Neil Kittredge), urban design; ARO, architects; Leslie E. Robertson Associates, structural engineering; 2x4, graphic design; Domingo Gonzales Associates, lighting design; Lynden Miller, public garden design; Nina Bassuk, urban soils and ecology; Ernesto Mark Faunlagui, design consulting; Daniel Frankfurt, PC, civil and structural engineering; Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, geotechnical engineering; Aphrodite Socrates, hazardous material management; GEOD, land surveying; Mathews-Nielsen Landscape Architects, street architecture, maintenance; Accu-Cost, cost estimating; Battle McCarthy, sustainability consulting; Rocky Mountain Institute, environmental planning; Arup, traffic engineering; Charles McKinney, park operations consulting; Luc Sante, urban history; Public Art Fund, arts programming; RFR Engineering, infrastructural history; James Turrell, artist.



###


Contact
Joshua David, FHL, (212) 206-9922;
josh@thehighline.org

Meghan Dotter, RF/Binder, (212) 994-7552;
meghan.dotter@rfbinder.com

krulltime
May 31st, 2004, 05:46 PM
New Park Is Right On Track

By Tom Topousis, May 31, 2004

One of New York's hidden treasures - a rusting elevated railroad that stretches down Manhattan's West Side - is about to take its first step toward a public debut. Four design teams were picked last week to compete for the job of turning the long-dormant freight railroad into the city's newest public park.

Running more than a mile, from the West Side railroad yards at 30th Street to the Meatpacking District, the High Line is an oasis in the sky now covered with wildflowers and trees and inhabited by birds and butterflies.

"The High Line is just so magical," said city Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden. "I always said that if I were in a position of power or influence, saving it would be one of the first things that I would do."

The future wasn't always so bright for the High Line, last used to carry freight in 1982. Just four years ago, the city was ready to begin demolition on the structure.

But two West Siders who were fascinated with the structure began a drive to save the railroad, recognizing its potential as a public project that would lift New Yorkers 35 feet above the street and what seems a world away from the congestion below.

Robert Hammond and Joshua David in 1999 formed a group called Friends of the High Line, which began to turn the tide from demolition to preservation. Their efforts won over officials in the Bloomberg administration.

"It's so easy to live close to it and never really understand what it is," said David. "But just the idea that this hidden structure existed and ran 22 blocks was fascinating to me."

In a rare walk along the High Line - shut off from the public by its operator, CSX Railroad - The Post caught a glimpse of Manhattan from the elevated tracks, which have become a nature preserve.

Between two tall warehouses, a small forest has sprouted. Near 14th Street, a wild cherry tree is taking root beside a rusting railroad switch. Hyacinth, Queen Anne's lace and purple aster flourish in the sun-drenched sections of the old viaduct.

A final design for the railroad's conversion will be picked in July, after the three teams put their proposals up for public display.

With an estimated $65 million price tag, the project is expected to be open to the public late in 2006.

NYPOST

krulltime
May 31st, 2004, 06:46 PM
The competition entry by Gisue Hariri of Hariri and Hariri:

http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/highline1.jpg
http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/highline2.jpg
http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/highline5.jpg

http://www.archidose.org/Nov03/111003.html

I like this design. It was getting interesting..well too bad. :cry:

NoyokA
July 5th, 2004, 11:38 PM
http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/062504centerforarch/top.gif
http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/062504centerforarch/copy.gif

Kris
July 10th, 2004, 10:10 PM
July 11, 2004

Elevated Visions

By JULIE V. IOVINE

Slide Show: Proposals for the High Line (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2004/07/07/arts/20040711_IOVI_SLIDESHOW_1.html)

THE High Line is an abandoned 1.5-mile stretch of overgrown railroad viaduct that runs from the Meatpacking district to Hell's Kitchen — and straight into the imaginations of a growing number of New Yorkers who see it as proof that, even in an urban jungle, the forces of nature are still at work.

The idea to turn the old freight route, once condemned to demolition, into a public park has gained momentum over the past five years, culminating in a design competition that attracted 52 entries. On July 16 the proposals of four finalists will go on display at the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place near Bleecker Street.

By most standards, the High Line possesses none of the qualities of a park. An elevated rail line 30 to 60 feet wide and two stories above street level, it was built in the 1930's to connect the Pennsylvania Railroad Yards and the warehouses of Greenwich Village. By 1980, most of the industries it had served were defunct, the trains were derailed, the tracks went to seed and the myth began to sprout. It was fertilized by a series of photographs taken in 2000 by Joel Sternfeld, showing off the industrial ruin as a particularly contemporary landscape — the eerie serenity of its black rails sweeping through a snowy strip of stubble in the winter, bristling waves of grass poking out between its steel trusses in the summer.

Last year, the Friends of the High Line, a group of artists, writers and concerned neighbors, invited architects, designers and homegrown visionaries to submit blue-sky ideas for the track's future. It attracted 720 entries from 36 countries, including one proposal to turn the entire length of the railroad bed into a swimming pool. After that, a $15 million commitment from the City Council and a rezoning proposal helped catapult the High Line's revival from long shot to a viable scheme, and a more selective competition for a workable master plan was undertaken.

The caliber of the finalists — from Steven Holl, a Manhattan architect who had previously proposed a series of bridge-shaped houses straddling the rails, to Zaha Hadid, the London-based architect who won the 2004 Pritzker Prize — reflects the seriousness of the project. Total rebuilding, however, is not part of anyone's plan. "The park of the future will be built on industrial sites like this one," said Robert Hammond, a co-founder of the Friends of the High Line. "And we want to show that a park doesn't have to be Central Park to succeed. It can be a thin linear space cutting next to buildings." The winning team will be announced in August, at which point its design will be subject to revision.

The Friends of the High Line and city representatives who will be judging the competition expect contestants to give the High Line a new life and purpose while still respecting its serendipitous character as a streak of wilderness in the city.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

RedFerrari360f1
July 10th, 2004, 10:50 PM
I cant get a sense of wha any of them will look like with those pictures....Yhe guy holding flowers? WTF, some times these wannabe bohemian people piss me off.

krulltime
July 15th, 2004, 09:24 AM
HIGH LINE: SKY'S LIMIT


By TOM TOPOUSIS
July 15, 2004

New Yorkers will get their first glimpse today of dramatic proposals to convert a long-unused railroad trestle on Manhattan's West Side into a spectacular park in the sky, including calls for high-flying pools, wetlands and nature trails.

Four design teams have submitted their proposals in hopes of winning the prestigious job of transforming the High Line into a 1.5-mile public space that stretches from the Meatpacking District through the art galleries of Chelsea.

"They've met our expectations and exceeded them," said Joshua David, a co-founder with Robert Hammond of the group Friends of the High Line, which is coordinating the project with the city's Planning Department.

The Post obtained an exclusive look at the designs, which range from a modernistic overhaul of the viaduct into a series of outdoor art projects on one end of the spectrum, to rustic paths through fields of grasses and wild flowers on the other.

Beginning tomorrow, the proposals will be on public display at the American Institute of Architecture's gallery at 536 La Guardia Place in Greenwich Village. A finalist will be chosen in August and a master plan for the project is expected by next spring.

The High Line, once slated for demolition and now strictly off limits to the public, is on track to be fully opened by 2006, with some sections made accessible earlier as work on the viaduct goes along. The project will cost about $65 million.


The design teams are:

* Field Operations with Diller, Scofidio and Renfro:

James Corner, founder of Field Operations, envisions a "fantastic, mixed perennial landscape" punctuated by "event spaces" that would include a clear-bottomed pool and a grandstand rising off the trestle.

* Steven Holl Architects:

Steven Holl calls the High Line "a suspended valley, a green strip" running through Chelsea. His plan includes a landscaped tower at the north end. "It's a piece of Zen poetry and I insist that it shouldn't be over-programmed."

*TerraGram/Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates:

Team leader Michael Van Valkenburgh said the design will be "a celebration of the natural phenomenon" already taking root on the train trestle and will include plantings of mustard seed and sunflowers that eliminate toxins in the soil.

* Zaha Hadid Architects:

Markus Dochantschi, who coordinated the team, described the High Line as a rare horizontal setting in a vertical city. "Our theme is movement and the dynamic of movement," he said of the plan that would include rotating public art shows.


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

billyblancoNYC
July 16th, 2004, 01:33 AM
http://archinect.com/news/article.php?id=4128_0_24_0_M

RedFerrari360f1
July 16th, 2004, 01:22 PM
They are all so abstract in the way they are presented I cant get a feel for them. But I would go with the most wacked out one. Which ever that may be.

krulltime
July 23rd, 2004, 03:37 PM
High Line forum packed tighter than a subway car


http://www.thevillager.com/villager_64/line.jpg
Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert


By Albert Amateau

Over 500 people attended a forum on the future of the High Line elevated railroad at the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Pl. last week.

If the overflow crowd at the Center for Architecture’s forum on the High Line last week is any indication, future visitors to the elevated park between the Gansevoort Market and the Javits Convention Center will barely fit on the 30-ft. width of the old rail viaduct.

“Since we opened last fall, this is the largest crowd we’ve had here,” said Rick Bell, executive director of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, referring to the 500 people who crammed into the Center at 536 LaGuardia Pl. for the July 15 presentation on the future of the High Line. Others who tried to get in could not, and were left standing outside on the sidewalk.

The focus of all that attention was the four teams that submitted scenarios to convert the disused 1.3-mile railroad viaduct into an elevated park that traverses Chelsea along the west side of 10th Ave. — where more than 200 art galleries occupy old warehouse space — and the Meat Market in Greenwich Village.

Team leaders used words like “magical,” “unruly” and “wild,” to describe aspects of the elevated railroad that they intend to honor and enhance but inevitably change by transforming it into a public park. And to one degree or another, all four teams are committed to providing public access to the High Line as soon as possible, even if that access is only temporary at first.

Steven Holl, an architect and leader of one of the teams whose office overlooks the High Line at 31st St., recalled seeing a blue butterfly on the viaduct during a recent visit. Looking ahead to 2050 to “a suspended valley” among the tall buildings of the future, he said, “As long as we can see a butterfly, we will have achieved that balance we’re seeking.”

Built by the now-defunct New York Central Railroad 70 years ago to raise street-level freight trains from the surface of 10th Ave. — where they were an impediment to traffic and a menace to pedestrians — to tracks 20 ft. overhead, the High Line has been unused for 20 years and is overgrown by the seeds of windblown grasses, weeds and trees.

Friends of the High Line, organized by Chelsea residents Joshua David and Robert Hammond in 1999, began working for what was then considered the romantic folly of preserving the line that had originally served West Side factories and warehouses. But the Bloomberg administration adopted the idea and has made a public promenade on the High Line the central element in the proposed redevelopment of West Chelsea, the planned construction of the controversial New York Sports and Convention Center and the redevelopment of the Hudson Yards.

“We begin with the strange, otherworldliness of the High Line and the emergent growth over time as new space is built. But as soon as it becomes a public space, it can no longer be like this,” said James Corner, landscape designer and leader of the Field Operations team.

The Field Operations vision has an interaction of hard and soft surfaces, including dips into pools in some places with the path flying above the track bed in areas that are to remain untrodden.

Elizabeth Diller, an architect member of the Field Operations team, suggested sections for events that could accommodate as many as 200 people. At places where the High Line goes through buildings, like the Chelsea Market, the former National Biscuit Company building between 15th and 16th Sts., there could be commercial uses to generate income to maintain the High Line.

“The extraordinary thing about this project is its improbability and the constant transformation of space that will never be completed,” Corner said.

Holl also paid tribute to the open-ended transformation of the High Line and the space beneath. “The High Line has been evolving for 70 years and we hope to make it a part of the city — not headed to a fixed end,” he said.

The structure was built to handle freight trains and is four times stronger than it must be for a pedestrian promenade, Holl said. He envisioned the structure without its concrete skin and some steel removed to create a lattice, allowing light to penetrate to the street below. Colored lighting provided by LEDs on the underside of the viaduct would promote attendance at the art galleries that have come to dominate the West Chelsea district.

Michael Van Valkenburgh, landscape designer and leader of the TerraGRAM team, invoked the name of Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park in the 19th century.

“We’re bringing the High Line into the 21st century, taking its glaring limitations and making it the Central Park of this century,” Van Valkenburgh said. The High Line will be a transition between “the dog and the wolf,” he said — the dog being the built environment underneath and around the viaduct and the wolf being the wild growth on top.

Van Valkenburgh’s vision includes zoned gardens with the neighbors of different stretches taking part in the creation and maintenance of the High Line flora. He also suggested stripping some of the viaduct to let people see the fundamental structure of New York City. “In time, we hope to have stairs at every intersection emerging into a miniature forest of trees,” Van Valkenburgh said, adding, “But it’s important to keep the rails visible at all times. We can’t lose the idea of a real railroad.”

Zaha Hadid, winner of the 2004 Pritzker Prize for architecture and the first woman so honored, is the leader of another team that sees the High Line as “a ribbon which can expand or shrink as needed.” The Hadid team, which includes The Kitchen, a West Chelsea arts venue, as cultural advisor, sees art installations and programs as an important element of the High Line. “We hope to engage the streets as part of the effect of the High Line,” Hadid added.

All the teams have consultants for dealing with any toxic residue of nearly 50 years of rail use. “CSX [the company that inherited the High Line from Conrail, which took it over when New York Central collapsed] will be very nervous if we keep talking about toxicity, but in fact, there’s very little there,” said Van Valkenburgh.

The federal Surface Transportation Board must approve the application by the city and the Friends of the High Line to include the viaduct in the federal rail-banking system’s Rails-to-Trails program. That approval is likely since opposition by Chelsea Property Owners, whose property is under the viaduct, has evaporated after the city’s promise to allow them to sell their development rights to developers of properties elsewhere in a proposed West Chelsea special district.

During the past 30 years, residential developers of property under the High Line between the St. John’s Building — a former rail terminal for the High Line — north of Canal St. and Gansevoort St. were able to convince the federal government to approve demolition of the southern stretch of the viaduct.

Friends of the High Line and the city hope to select a development team from among the four submissions by September. The winning team will develop a master plan in a process that will include frequent public meetings, and construction is to being early in 2006.

“We don’t know what the cost might be until we have a master plan, but we’re estimating it to be between $65 million and $100 million,” Hammond said. The city has so far committed $16 million and Congressmember Jerrold Nadler has secured $5 million in federal funds. “We hope Senators Schumer and Clinton will secure more federal funds and we hope to raise private funds,” Hammond said, adding, “We think we’ll have enough money to start construction.”

Senator Clinton is a strong supporter of the project.

“The High Line project represents the extraordinary things that can be accomplished when a community organizes and decides it wants to move an idea forward,” Clinton recently said in a statement to The Villager. “That’s why I’ve been an ardent supporter of this project, because I believe it will help create a unique and scenic landmark on Manhattan’s West Side that will be treasured for generations.”


The Villager, Volume 74, Number 12 | July 21 - 27, 2004

Kris
July 27th, 2004, 09:41 AM
www.thehighline.org/4visions.html

NewYorkYankee
July 27th, 2004, 10:03 AM
The feild production's one looks ok, with the greenery, but what is that? A beach with water? http://www.thehighline.org/img/mpfinalists/fieldop/dd1_lg.jpg

And I didnt care for the last one period, not appealing to me at all.

krulltime
July 27th, 2004, 10:54 AM
Yeah I defenetly like Number 1. It looks like more fun and it will be so different that any other park in the city. I love the entrance to the park. But they can do without the beach it is totally weird. And come'on bike paths! Where are the bike paths in all of the designs?

Number 1 looks like it will cost the most. Saying that I think that the less costly will be number 4 and I am afraid that one will be vote it. If at least they have bike paths I will be ok.

Kris
July 29th, 2004, 12:08 PM
Remaking Tracks

Four plans would transform the High Line, an overgrown vestige of the city's industrial past, into a vibrant swath of its future

BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON
STAFF WRITER

July 29, 2004

A strip of forgotten wilderness runs down the West Side of Manhattan like a weedy seam. The High Line, an abandoned elevated railway that snakes its way from West 34th Street to the Gansevoort Meat Market, is a rusting relic of the industrial age. Built in the 1930s to carry freight in and out Manhattan's manufacturing district, it was eventually condemned to obsolescence by the combined forces of gentrification and trucking.

It has become a pastoral avenue that nobody sees. In the 24 years since the last load of frozen turkeys was delivered by train to a Greenwich Village warehouse, weeds and wildflowers have sprung from its gravel beds, obscuring the tracks and suggesting a possible future as a verdant walkway above the streets. Some local businesses see it as an obsolete eyesore, shutting light out from the sidewalks and depressing property values. But the Bloomberg administration and a small army of celebrities have sided with Friends of the High Line, an organization that wants to transform the dilapidated structure into a destination.

Last year, that nonprofit group solicited ideas about how to accomplish that. It received 720 suggestions, from the minimal (leave the weeds) to the preposterously extravagant (a mile-and-a-half-long swimming pool). Now the organization is conducting a more realistic competition for a master plan and has narrowed the field to four teams of architects.

The romance of the project has attracted major talent. Zaha Hadid, this year's Pritzker Prize winner, leads one team. Another includes Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, which has been hired to refurbish Lincoln Center. A third is captained by the esteemed architect Steven Holl and the fourth, called Terragram, is led by the landscape architect and Harvard University professor Michael Van Valkenburgh.

So far the process has produced only general design approaches. An exhibit of the four proposals is on view at the Center for Architecture until Aug. 14. Whichever team gets the job in the fall will then plunge into a new round of studies, debates and brainstorming sessions, emerging with a full-fledged master plan next year.

In the meantime, New Yorkers can look forward to a new kind of urban park, a distinctly local equivalent to the European passeggiata. The pedestrian boulevard will thread its placid way through a neighborhood's shuddering changes. In the past 20 years, the westernmost slice of Chelsea, between 10th Avenue and the Hudson River, has metamorphosed from a gritty industrial district to an area sprinkled with art galleries and chichi restaurants.

The Bloomberg administration is trying to shape the next phase of that transformation by applying a nudge here and a brake there. Last fall, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Gansevoort Meat Market area as a historic district, protecting its cobbled streets and its warehouses, with their corrugated-metal awnings, from demolition.

At the same time, the city planning commission unveiled a proposed rezoning of West Chelsea, which would allow a flock of new apartment buildings. Meanwhile, the city is negotiating the tension between change and preservation by cheering on the renovation of the High Line.

Its future as a park is far from a sure thing. Money must be raised - somewhere between $60 million and $100 million - and the federal government must be persuaded to fold the project into the rails-to-trails program through which disused railroad tracks can be converted into parks and bicycle paths until they are needed as train routes again (in most cases, never).

Each of the four finalist proposals for the High Line would create an immeasurable improvement in the life of Manhattan. The tragic mistake would be to demolish the High Line or let it continue to decay.

Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro teamed up with James Corner and his landscape firm, Field Operations, to create the most provocative and vivid of the four proposals: an undulating platform that would preserve some of the railway's current sense of wilderness.

For now, the tracks run through an uncultivated grassland. The proposal would pave the structure with long concrete planks, sometimes tightly fitted, sometimes separated by gaps overflowing with vegetation. Meadow would shade into strips of brush and woodland thicket, fading, perhaps, into patches of artificial marsh.

Like a combination of boardwalk and dune, concrete ramps would arc above the trees, providing lofty views, or swoop down between the steel girders, cocooning pedestrians in greenery and allowing them to forget for a moment the city all around. The up-and-down intentionally slows the typical New York City quick-march to a contemplative stroll. Those in a hurry need only click down the stairs to the churning sidewalks.

In all the proposals, the High Line becomes a place of spectacle, too. This team's more fanciful renderings envision high-flying acrobatic demonstrations and a stretch of elevated beach, complete with swimming hole. But Field Operations also foresees havens for more easily conceivable activities: outdoor movies, people-watching and light shows illuminating the line's several passageways through existing buildings.

At the southern end, sculpted nature gives way to raw industrial artifact. Naked steel beams extend over a long, grand staircase by the Gansevoort Meat Market, where a glass wall turns butchering into a spectator sport. Perched above it all is a cantilevered glass gallery like the top of a "T," a transparent box whose principal purpose is to let people see and be seen.

Zaha Hadid

The core challenge of the High Line will be to make attractive the idea of lifting street life into the air. Hadid, the celebrated Iraqi-born architect based in London, draws pedestrians through vertical space like salmon upriver, in an instinctual flow of desire. In her Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, for instance, she merges floor, wall and walkway to give the museum the feeling of a continuous, ribboning structure.

Her proposal for a High Line master plan has some similarities with that of Field Operations: zones of vegetation that bleed into each other without formal borders, and a surface that rolls above and below the horizontal plane defined by the railway girders.

But Hadid envisions a more liquid structure, an architectural stream fed by the tributaries of building, park and street. At 18th Street, people would enter her version of the High Line by ambling up a looping, meadowed, handicapped-accessible ramp that doubles as the roof of a tubular building. The hurried and able-bodied could climb a standard set of stairs, but the gestural drama of the landscape emphasizes the ramp.

In the end, Hadid's team may leave blanks at various access points for other architects to design. But in the conceptual renderings, which are a good deal more specific and legible than Hadid's usual elegant abstractions, the High Line has acquired a seamless, molded-concrete curviness reminiscent of a 1960s flight terminal.

Markus Donchantschi, one of Hadid's collaborators, suggested that benches might emerge out of a ramp, become articulated (identifiably benchlike) for a few yards, and then disappear again back into a floor or wall. At the Gansevoort Market, the walkway would slope gently up and end on a rooftop observation deck, giving the building below the cozy, space-age look of the Teletubbies' burrow.

Steven Holl

The architect Steven Holl, who lives in Greenwich Village near the southern end of the High Line and works near the other end, has been floating plans to salvage it for more than 20 years. His priority now is to get at least a segment of it open to the public soon, so that redeveloping the rest will seem irresistible. Eventually, he hopes to make the High Line part of a green loop connected to the new Hudson River Park by a series of pedestrian bridges that would soar above the fierce traffic of West Street.

Holl also hopes to move the West 26th Street flower market down to the meat market, so the smell of blooms rather than blood would fill the wide intersection at Gansevoort Street. A spiraling ramp full of flower stalls would rise above the warehouse building, like a scented lookout turret.

The actual lookouts - the security officers monitoring the High Line's full length - would be headquartered in a long glass gallery jacked overhead at 18th Street: a "translucent membrane bridge," Holl calls it.

Holl has paid special attention to the rail line's underside, partnering with the artist Solange Fabião to create a 1.5-mile lighting display that could be used for artwork or advertising.

Terragram

Of all the finalists, it is the Terragram team, led by the landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, that draws the greatest inspiration from the way the High Line looks today: a strip of urban wilderness. In this plan, still painted in broad philosophical brushstrokes rather than architectural details, a narrow concrete walkway meanders past patches of unkempt-looking greenery or a thick forest of sunflowers. The High Line has a particular ravaged beauty, heightened by neglect: Above, according to the team statement, is a "resilient volunteer wildscape," below, the "sublime industrial underbelly of the rail corridor itself."

All the architects evince an almost sensual fondness for the High Line's bare steel, the rare frank manifestation of a skeleton that, in tall buildings, is usually hidden. In projects of adaptive reuse such as this one, there is always a balance to be struck between preserving an architectural memory and giving it new life; Terragram's plan celebrates messy history rather than a high-gloss future.

That's the crux of the competition. Assuming that in the long run the Friends of the High Line are successful in their quest, the final selection of a master planner will determine just how raw and brutal an old industrial muscle is permitted to remain or how smooth and civilized it will become as it runs through the heart of an ever-more-chic Chelsea.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Kris
August 11th, 2004, 10:19 PM
August 12, 2004

Gardens in the Air Where the Rail Once Ran

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/08/12/arts/12high.xl.jpg
A rendering of the proposed design for the High Line looking south from 22nd Street and 10th Avenue.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/08/12/arts/12high.l.jpg
A rendering of the proposed design for the High Line shows the view at 23rd Street and 10th Avenue.

A team of New York-based architects led by Field Operations and Diller, Scofidio & Renfro has been selected to design a master plan that would transform an abandoned section of elevated freight track into a public park that would weave its way north from the meatpacking district to Hell's Kitchen, two stories above the city.

The city and Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit group that has been overseeing the development of the High Line elevated track, have yet to officially announce the selection, which was made last week. City officials and members of the architectural team still have to work out the details of a design contract that could eventually encompass a series of public gardens, a swimming pool, an outdoor theater and food halls, a project running for more than 20 city blocks from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street.

Nonetheless, the selection marks a critical step in one of the most compelling urban planning initiatives in the city's recent history. The preliminary design succeeds in preserving the High Line's tough industrial character without sentimentalizing it. Instead, it creates a seamless blend of new and old, one rooted in the themes of decay and renewal that have long captivated the imagination of urban thinkers.

Perhaps more important, the design confirms that even in a real estate climate dominated by big development teams and celebrity architects, thoughtful, creative planning ideas - initiated at the grass-roots level - can lead to startlingly original results. As the process continues, the issue will be whether the project's advocates can maintain such standards in the face of increasing commercial pressures.

Architects have fantasized about the High Line since at least the early 1980's, when Steven Holl first completed a theoretical proposal to build a "bridge of houses" that straddled the elevated tracks. Property owners considered the line an urban blight, and only a few years ago they were lobbying for its demolition. Friends of the High Line defeated that effort, in part by convincing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and city planning officials that a revamped High Line could act as a spur to urban renewal. Eventually, the site was conceived as a public promenade, one that could be used to bind together the communities that lie beneath it.

The city planning office, meanwhile, devised a plan that would allow property owners below the High Line to transfer their development rights to other sites within the district. Friends of the High Line has also raised $3.5 million in private money for the project. The city has committed another $15.75 million over the next four years.

The strength of the Field Operations design is its ability to reflect a sense of communal mission without wiping away the site's historical character. These competing interests are balanced with exquisite delicacy.

The architects begin by creating a system of concrete planks that taper slightly at either end. The planks will be laid out along the High Line's deck in parallel bands, creating a pedestrian walkway that meanders back and forth as it traces the path of the elevated tracks, occasionally fading away to make room for a series of colorful gardens.

The gardens embody competing forces - some wild, others carefully cultivated. At various points along the deck, for example, the existing landscape of meadow grass, wildflowers, weeds and gravel will be preserved. At other points, that landscape will be replaced by an explosion of vividly colored fields and birch trees.

The idea is to create a virtually seamless flow between past and future realities, a blend of urban grit and cosmopolitan sophistication. But it is also to slow the process of change, to focus the eye on the colliding forces - both natural and man-made - that give cities their particular beauty. That vision has a more subversive, social dimension: to offer a more measured alternative to the often brutal pace of gentrification.

There are few better vantage points for observing the city's evolution than the High Line. From the gardens, for example, various views would open up to the surrounding cityscape. Framed by the surrounding buildings, they would offer visual relief from the isolated world above. At the same time, they would set up a rhythm as one strolls along the concrete deck, between spectacular urban vistas and the more contemplative world of the gardens.

The tranquility of that experience would be interrupted by a series of carefully calibrated public events. In some places, for example, the concrete path is to dip below the level of the gardens, allowing pedestrians to observe street life below. Above 23rd Street, another section of the deck would peel up to create an informal outdoor amphitheater. Just beyond the stage, a section of the deck would be cut away, creating a stunning view of cars streaming by below. The opening is to be framed by a perfectly manicured lawn - a nod, perhaps, to the more conventionally suburban vision of park planning that extends a few blocks away along the Hudson River.

Further to the north, a public swimming pool would be embedded into the deck's concrete surface. Like much of the design, the pool is only a sketch - the beginning of an idea - but it is an intriguing one nonetheless. A large concrete panel lifts up at one end of the pool to support a faux urban beach. Concrete piers extend out into the water like giant fingers.

The power of such gestures lies in their simplicity. As architectural objects, they are relatively mundane. Their meaning arises from their relationship to the immediate context.

The design's greatest weakness, in fact, occurs when the architecture gets more elaborate. Currently, the High Line ends abruptly at Gansevoort Street, its steel beams and concrete deck protruding above the roof of a warehouse like a severed limb. This would eventually become one of the project's main gateways. The architects have proposed a grand stair that leads up to the gardens, flanked by a gallery space and rooftop market. Just above the market, the large, glass-enclosed form of a bar would jut out over the stair.

The idea is to tap into the meatpacking district's vibrant social life in order to energize the High Line's public gardens. But the architecture is bland. And the impulse is at odds with the lightness of touch that characterizes the rest of the design. Worse, it comes perilously close to conventional development formulas: a high-end mall for downtown sophisticates. What one longs for here is a more gentle entry, one that would allow the public to slip into the gardens virtually unnoticed.

Such issues can easily be corrected as the design process unfolds. But they point to what may ultimately be the greatest threat to the project's success: regulating access to the site. The High Line has already begun to spark the interest of developers, who understand its potential as an agent for raising real estate values. The developer Marshall Rose is working with Frank Gehry on a proposal for a mixed-use development that would straddle the High Line near 18th Street. The hotelier André Balazs, meanwhile, is negotiating to purchase a site that adjoins the High Line just below 13th Street, a lot that was once slated for a project by the celebrated French architect Jean Nouvel.

In an effort to take advantage of that interest, city planners have envisioned a series of incentives that would reward developers who include public access to the High Line in their plans. The scheme would also allow developers to connect commercial ventures directly to the gardens, which could radically alter the nature of the project. At the same time, allowing those who own properties below the High Line to relocate creates the possibility of freeing portions of the High Line from the surrounding density.

In their competition entry, the Field Operations architects' only link to outside development is depicted as a drawbridge. They are right to be ambivalent. As the High Line project continues to develop, the issue of access will have to be handled with particular care. If not, the High Line could one day become nothing more than Manhattan's belated answer to the historic theme park - a grotesque urban mall on stilts.

But this is not the time for skepticism. So far, both Friends of the High Line and the City Planning Department have proved remarkably adept at negotiatingpolitical hurdles. They have refused to pander to commercial interests. Nor have they ignored them. In selecting the design, they continue to show a genuine sensitivity to the High Line's value to the public realm. After the flawed, often cynical planning efforts that have marked development at ground zero, the thoughtful development of the High Line should be welcomed by New Yorkers who believe decent planning and imaginative architecture have a role in the city's future.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
August 13th, 2004, 09:27 AM
The High Line — a dramatic park?

BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON
Staff Writer

August 13, 2004

If the budgets and bureaucrats fall into place, the architectural firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro will transform the High Line, an abandoned railway running above the streets of West Chelsea, into a dramatic strip of parkland.

Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit organization leading the effort to recycle that industrial artifact, chose the firm from four finalists including the Pritzker Prize-winner Zaha Hadid, sentimental favorite Steven Holl (who has been agitating for the project for more than 20 years), and a team led by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro's plan offers an irresistible mix of the pastoral and the theatrical. All the proposals dealt with the untamed grassland on the abandoned railway bed, but the winner envisioned an undulating landscape that climbs small hills and dips between the girders.

The choice cements the recently exalted reputation of a firm that once inhabited the conceptual edge of the architectural world, working as much with insubstantial materials such as light and electronics as with concrete and steel. The firm has recently scooped up commissions to reshape Lincoln Center and the cultural district around the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Even half a dozen years ago, it seemed implausible that the firm would become such a major player in reshaping the cultural life of an architecturally cautious city. This was, after all, the team that in 2002 produced the Blur Building, a temporary walk-in cloud hovering above a Swiss lake. Among the projects the firm has in the pipeline is the Eyebeam Museum of Technology in Chelsea, where visitors will wander along a ribboning ramp in a wireless high-tech haze and floors will swoop up into walls as they do in a skateboarding park.

The firm's High Line design combines the provocative with the practical. An elevated outdoor swimming hole includes a patch of beach on a sloping plinth. A vast outdoor movie screen would be visible from the street — and from bedrooms three blocks away. But the core of the proposal, which is still in the early phase, involves blurring the lines between pavement and wilderness, with plants that burst from between narrow concrete planks. Rather than the neatly divided zones of traditional parks, the scheme aims for a stylish bit of planned dishevelment.

There are still major hurdles. The project could cost up to $100 million, which has not yet been raised, and while the city backs the plan, the federal government and CSX, the company that owns the High Line, still need to sign off on it.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

ZippyTheChimp
November 24th, 2004, 08:49 AM
http://www.gothamgazette.com/

Turning The High Line Elevated Railroad Into An Unconventional Park

by Ann Schwartz
November 11, 2004

In one of his last acts in office, Mayor Rudy Giuliani approved the demolition of the High Line, an abandoned elevated freight railroad running through Chelsea and the West Village. The owners of property shadowed by the hulking structure wanted it torn down. The idea of reinventing the tracks as a public open space, proposed by a grassroots group called Friends of the High Line, was a fantasy that few people gave any chance of success.

Fast forward three years. This October, the city announced the selection of a design team to make the track a public promenade, as well as the dedication of $43 million to the project, which has an estimated total cost of between $60 and $100 million. The State of New York and CSX Transportation, the railroad that owns the line, joined the city in petitioning the federal Surface Transportation Board to rail-bank the line, which would transfer the easement to the city and allow its use as public space. If all goes as planned, construction will begin next fall. Against all odds, a crazy and impractical-seeming idea is rapidly becoming a reality.

The High Line was built in the 1930s to serve the refrigerated meat and dairy warehouses of the West Side, taking dangerous freight traffic off Tenth Avenue. Part of the line was torn down in the 1960s, and the remaining segment, from Gansevoort to 34th Street, was taken out of service in 1980. It was mostly forgotten, except by architects, preservationists and adjacent property owners.

The few people who discovered the rusting track, overtaken by weeds and wildflowers, were captivated by its solitude and mystery. Some likened it to a magic carpet ride -- a tapestry that changed with the seasons, floating two stories high through industrial precincts, just above the streets but open to the sky and river and cityscape.

In 1999, West Side residents Joshua David and Robert Hammond founded Friends of the High Line to save the line and take advantage of a rare opportunity to create open space in an area that desperately needed it. To their surprise, they quickly gained the support of local residents, civic organizations, and businesspeople, including the owners of art galleries in West Chelsea. "The power behind the project was that it was a dream, a dream-like vision, we were making a reality," recalled David. "It seemed like something wonderful and impossible. And as soon as people got the sense that this wonderful, seemingly impossible thing was possible, it created incredible excitement."

Elected officials started coming on board, including City Councilmember Christine Quinn, who represents the area, and Council Speaker Gifford Miller. A turning point came with the election of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who quickly reversed the city’s course and began the rail-banking process early in his term.

Mayor Bloomberg and Department of City Planning Director Amanda Burden envision the line tying together three areas that are the focus of city revitalization efforts: the Gansevoort Historic District, West Chelsea, and the far West Side between the 30s and 42nd Street, including the site of the controversial proposed stadium complex. Mayor Bloomberg called the High Line "a beautiful new amenity that will serve as the spine of vibrant new neighborhoods on Manhattan’s Far West Side and create new economic benefits in the years to come."

A Completely Different Kind Of Park

In making their case to preserve the tracks, Friends of the High Line frequently cited the example of the Promenade Plantée, a landscaped walkway on a rail viaduct crossing the 12th Arrondissement in Paris. Reflecting the classic beauty of the city it overlooks, the promenade is a linear formal garden, a path bordered and interrupted by neatly edged beds of flowers, shrubs, and trees. The first park ever built on an elevated line, it has been a huge success, attracting many more visitors than expected and spurring the construction of apartment and commercial buildings in the surrounding area.

Although the concept of the High Line as a landscaped pedestrian walkway was inspired by its French predecessor, the design is shaping up to be something different altogether — unlike any other park and unique to New York.

"People are looking for a design that refers to the special qualities that are up there now," said David. The goal is to capture the disused track’s wildness, its grittiness, its evocation of the city’s industrial past, and especially its sense of serenity. Yet the park will need to accommodate large numbers of people, a variety of public uses, and the commercial activities that will inevitably arise in the adjacent spaces.

After narrowing down 70 proposals to four finalists, a selection committee representing five city agencies and Friends of the High named a design team led by the landscape architecture firm Field Operations and architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to create the master plan.

The team’s provocative preliminary concept looks more like a work of modern sculpture than a traditional park. It is based on parallel concrete planks that fade in and out of a landscape ranging from gravel and grasses to a more cultivated type of garden. In some sections, the volunteer vegetation and rusting metal of the existing line would remain intact. The architects envision the line as a slow, meandering path that at times dips below or curves above the tracks, with places for both quiet reflection and public activities and events.

In October, more than a hundred people came to a community input forum to view a presentation of the preliminary concept and offer their ideas, concerns, and hopes.

Most of those attending agreed that the park should be a "slow lane," a place to meander, meditate, and enjoy the views. They noted that there is already a well-used route for bicyclists and skaters just a few blocks away at the Hudson River Park. Other community concerns were safety, enough seating, connections to the river, and guarding against the encroachment of commercial activities. The design team will return to the community with an update on December 2, at the Chelsea Recreation Center.

Open Space As A Catalyst For Change

Unlike the typical development approach that throws in a park or two as a sweetener to make large new construction projects more palatable to the public, the effort to reuse the High Line starts with the premise that open space can be at the heart of neighborhood revitalization.

And in contrast to the city’s top-down plan to build a stadium and redevelop the area just to the north, which has generated tremendous neighborhood opposition, the High Line project is a model of local planning. It began at the grassroots and included the input of local residents and businesses as it evolved. According to Joshua David, there has been a remarkable and productive collaboration among Friends of the High Line and numerous city agencies, including parks, city planning, transportation, and economic development.

The Department of City Planning has put together a proposal that weaves the High Line into a larger plan for rezoning West Chelsea. The plan aims to encourage the construction of more housing in the area, yet retain the area’s manufacturing and protect the thriving art gallery district that has emerged between 10th and 11th Avenues.

To keep light and air around the High Line, the plan would restrict the heights of adjacent buildings, while allowing their owners to sell development rights that could be used in other parts of the district. It also offers incentives for providing access to the line. The public review process for the zoning change is expected to begin in December.

Developers are starting to take interest in the area, as planners had hoped. But along with new development comes the risk of increased commercialization. The challenge going ahead is to make the High Line a true public space – not just a mall in the sky – that captures the excitement of the original vision.

Anne Schwartz is a freelance writer specializing in environmental issues. Previously, she was the editor of the Audubon Activist, a news journal for environmental action published by the National Audubon Society, and an editor at The New York Botanical Garden.



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Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/parks/20041124/14/1193


Dept of City Planning West Chelsea Zoning Proposal (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/westchelsea/westchelsea1.html)

Kris
February 3rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
http://rion.nu/v5/post/020305/IMG_5074lg.jpg

http://rion.nu/v5/archive/000807.php

Edward
April 8th, 2005, 02:38 PM
http://moma.org/exhibitions/2005/grasslands.html
The High Line
April 19–July 18

This exhibition features Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro's winning entry for the redesign of the High Line, a defunct, elevated railway bed that runs along Manhattan's far West Side. The design was inspired by what the architects deem the "High Line's melancholic, unruly beauty, in which nature has reclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure." Comprising a series of gardens in the form of pits, plains, bridges, mounds, ramps, and flyovers situated along the twenty-two-block expanse, the project aims to create and preserve experiences of slowness, otherworldliness, and distraction. The installation includes models and digital renderings of the most current phase of design, along with photographs by Joel Sternfeld that capture the railway bed's present condition.

NYatKNIGHT
April 20th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Designers Detail an Urban Oasis 30 Feet Up

By ROBIN POGREBIN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ROBIN POGREBIN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ROBIN POGREBIN&inline=nyt-per)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif
April 19, 2005



http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/04/19/arts/19highL.jpg

A computer-generated image of a proposed entrance to the High Line park. Designs go on display tomorrow at the Museum of Modern Art.



http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhe mile-and-a-half path of concrete planks will weave among plants and wildflowers like a curvilinear boardwalk meandering through a floating garden. Some entrances will emphasize a gradual ascent from the grit and congestion of the city's streets to an oasis of pastoral calm. The 22-block stretch is to include the unexpected: an adjustable chair that can become a table or a chaise longue; a walkway flanked by a wetland with lily pads.

These details and others have been refined over the last several months by designers who plan to create an elevated public walkway out of the High Line, an abandoned railway that runs 30 feet above the city between 10th and 11th Avenues in Manhattan, from 34th Street to Gansevoort Street in the meatpacking district. The most recent digital drawings and renderings, including a 20-foot-long architectural model, go on display at the Museum of Modern Art tomorrow.

"Landscape architecture and urban design are completely integrated," said the show's curator, Tina di Carlo, an assistant curator in the museum's architecture and design department.

Construction of the project, designed by the New York-based architectural firms Field Operations and Diller, Scofidio & Renfro, in cooperation with the city and the nonprofit group Friends of the High Line, is expected to begin by year's end.

However innovative the design, the ultimate aesthetics and workaday experience of the High Line will hinge on how it relates to its surroundings, which are currently in flux. New construction is planned along the High Line, including several buildings that will intersect the railway. In addition, the Jets stadium and convention center, if built, could have a profound impact on the High Line's views and crowds.

The design team has been focusing on the first phase of the High Line, the southernmost portion, from Gansevoort Street to 15th Street, deciding on elements like seating, security and access. "It's answered a lot of the practical questions we've always had: how do you make it safe, and how do you get up there? At the same time, how do you keep it interesting?" said Robert Hammond, a founder of Friends of the High Line.

The designers are beginning to consider how the High Line will pass through or abut various new buildings, including a 15-story André Balazs hotel designed by Polshek Partnership at 13th Street; a building designed by Robert A. M. Stern between 17th Street and 18th Street, developed by Edison Properties; and a building designed by Frank Gehry, developed by Georgetown Partners between 18th Street and 19th Street.

"Yes, it poses technical and financial burdens on the hotel," Mr. Balazs said. "But I think the goal is to embrace it. As difficult as it is, I think it's really worth the challenge."

Much of the designers' work has been devoted to seeking a balance between preserving what one called "the romance of the ruin" - wild grasses growing up through the metal skeleton of rails and rivets - and creating a fresh green corridor for pedestrians. (The High Line is currently off limits.) "There is an ecosystem in place," said Elizabeth Diller, one of the architects. "The moment you let people up there, that ecosystem will be destroyed. We have to find a way for humans and growth to coexist."

James Corner, the founder and director of Field Operations, the project's landscape architect, described the challenge as "how to maintain the magic of the High Line as a found landscape in the city, yet at the same time accommodate the numbers of people who want to stroll up there." The concrete planking system is to cover about half of the High Line, a soft layer of vegetation the remainder. But these proportions are flexible; planks can be added to reduce the amount of greenery and vice versa.

"We're trying to keep this as uncommercialized as possible," said Ricardo Scofidio, another of the architects, "to keep it simple and natural and not to overwhelm it."


In developing plans for the downtown portion of the High Line, the designers have been focusing on how the walkway will interact with the street, distinguishing among the different entrances in terms of speed - some will provide a slow ascent; others will be more direct. Every access point is to have a presence at ground level.

The one at Gansevoort, for example, is to feature a large glass-encased area that may be used for a restaurant directly underneath the High Line; it will rise gradually to the walkway, so that people come close to the metal bones of the structure as they move up into it. Also at Gansevoort, where the railway begins, the architects plan to leave the existing exposed section of the High Line, "so you can clearly understand the construction of the structure," Mr. Scofidio said.

The design calls for a variety of seating options all along the High Line, including loose chairs and benches - "all sorts of combinations as to how the public could inhabit this space," said Ms. di Carlo, the assistant curator. "A couple or a couple with a baby or disabled people or someone walking their dog," she added, "all of that has been studied."

The designers hope to use the areas of the High Line that are covered by buildings as rental spaces for events to generate revenue. Lighting along the line is to be kept as a soft ambient glow below eye level. The designers expect the area to be monitored by video cameras. The architects plan to keep the original steel railings - "designed to keep locomotives from plunging into the street," Mr. Scofidio said. To meet the code requirements at crosswalks would require the installation of eight-foot walls that would obstruct east-west views. As a result, the architects are planning to add glass or a fine mesh to the railings and to create a wetlands area at 14th Street that will keep people from the edge.

The show opening tomorrow at the Modern features large-format photographs by Joel Sternfeld, a New York photographer who has documented the High Line's current rough, overgrown condition.

The design team also includes Piet Oudolf, a horticulturalist; Olafur Eliasson, an artist; and the firm Buro Happold, structural engineers.

Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit group that successfully fought to save the railway from demolition in 2001, has raised about $3.5 million in private money. The city has committed about $50 million, and support is expected to come from the federal government and the state.

"For a long time, the mystery of the High Line was it could be anything," said Joshua David, a founder of the High Line group. "Now we have a design developing that retains that same sense of mystery and possibility even as we're narrowing down to a singular vision."

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/04/19/arts/19high-chart.gif

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

NoyokA
April 20th, 2005, 02:57 PM
I actually had today in my calendar bookmarked for the launch of this website:

http://www.thehighline.org/design/prelim_design/index.htm

Check it out, very cool stuff.

aural iNK
April 20th, 2005, 03:16 PM
I'd like to walk the High Line sometime in the next couple of weeks. How easy is it to do so without getting caught? Any good time of day to lay low?

Rem 311 JHF
June 7th, 2005, 03:57 PM
I Have 2 Good Ideas for The Locations of The "High" Line:

1.They Should go w. The Idea of Building a Special NY City Based "Theme Park" W. Rides Such as a Long Roller Coaster That Can Stretch for 5 Blocks or More and Way Better than The CYCLONE At Coney Island!!.

2.The Building of a Movie Film Studio that Major Film Companies can Used to Make Films About New York and Build 3 or 4 Large Subway Station Like Sets Like What Colombia Pictures had Did out in LA For The Film "Money Train" and Lay Down 2 Sets of Tracks and Use Whatevers left of Those Transit Authority REDBIRD Subway Trains that Were Spared from Being Sent to The Atlantic to a Watery Grave to be Used as an Artificial Reef, This Way a Movie Company Wont have to Worry About Getting Permission from The MTA to Allow a TV Or Film Production Company to Film on MTA Property Such as On Their Trains and Stations,So Basically,This Can be Considered to be a New York Subway Movie Production Type Studio Set Up.

NoyokA
August 5th, 2005, 11:02 AM
New York Daily News:

18M puts High Line on track
Elva Ramirez

The conversion of the old High Line tracks into an elevated West Side park is $18 million closer to reality, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) announced yesterday.

"I love the idea of New Yorkers being able to move blocks and blocks through Manhattan without encountering a single car, bus or truck," Clinton said in announcing the congressional funding.

The 1.45 mile-long elevated rails that run from W. 34th St. to Gansevoort St. have not seen a train since 1980.

The nonprofit Friends of the High Line has lobbied for six years to turn the structure into an open green space mixed with commercial and retail uses.

Nearly $68 million of the estimated $100 million budget is now in place, and ground-breaking on the project is expected this year.

NoyokA
August 5th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Nearly $68 million of the estimated $100 million budget is now in place, and ground-breaking on the project is expected this year.

This is very good news, but construction will not start this year, its on the right track so to speak, but its not quite there yet.

lofter1
August 8th, 2005, 12:09 AM
The Museum at the End of the Line

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/07/arts/design/07voge.html?pagewanted=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1123473831-mrzf3b2oa+fHxCX2NedU/g

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/08/07/arts/07voge.l.jpg
A digital image from a preliminary design for the conversion of the High Line, once an elevated railway, into a park and commercial space. Made before Dia's proposal, it shows the corner the museum is to develop.

By CAROL VOGEL (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CAROL VOGEL&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CAROL VOGEL&inline=nyt-per)
Published: August 7, 2005

GAZING at a derelict shell of a building in the meatpacking district of Manhattan one recent rainy morning, Michael Govan was imagining a not-so-distant future when the Dia Art Foundation will make its home there.

"I'm a light fanatic," Mr. Govan, the foundation's director, said. "We plan to keep the structure low so that it will have open views to the north and light from the Hudson River on the west." He gestured from underneath his umbrella. "Most of the galleries will have north-facing skylights."
It is hard to picture a distinguished exhibition space in this booming neighborhood, a strange mix of trendy nightclubs, expensive boutiques and industrial meat lockers. But for Dia, that is the dream - one it hopes to realize in as little as two years at an estimated cost of $33 million.

The dream did not start that way. Eighteen months ago, Dia closed its two exhibition spaces on the westernmost block of West 22nd Street in Chelsea for a full-scale renovation to address chronic problems like leaky roofs, an antiquated elevator and a lack of air-conditioning. But once the project got under way, foundation officials realized that it would cost upward of $8 million to make the buildings - a four-story warehouse and a converted garage across the street - work. Even then, they say, neither would have afforded the kind of vast open space Dia wanted.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/08/04/arts/07voge3.l.jpg

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
A view of Dan Graham's "Rooftop Urban Park Project: Two Way Mirror Cylinder Inside Cube, " at Dia's former Chelsea space.

So from Harlem to the financial district, Mr. Govan began scouring Manhattan in search of a sprawling new home. Then he heard about 820 Washington Street, just a stone's throw from the High Line, an abandoned elevated railway overgrown by weeds and wild shrubbery.

That melancholic landscape, which the city was re-envisioning as an elongated park, was crucial to Dia's decision to relocate in the meatpacking district. Plans now call for the foundation's galleries to be contiguous and level with the park, allowing visitors to gaze upon lush greenery while soaking up contemporary art.

In an age when name-brand architects are building museums around the world that are as much a statement as the art they house, Dia's plan for its new space seems oddly modest. Rather than hire a celebrity architect, Dia enlisted Roger Duffy, a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill who has worked on other projects with the foundation and is known for his low-key designs.

If the city, which owns the site, approves Dia's design plans, the building will be a plain two-story structure with 34,000 square feet of gallery space spread over two floors. Meat markets will operate at ground level on its west side.

The new building's understated look is in keeping with the pioneering spirit and style of Dia, which opened in Chelsea in 1987, more than a decade before contemporary art galleries began their stampede into the neighborhood. This move will make it the only cultural institution amid the 1.5 miles of the High Line, one whose visitors can enter it directly from the park.

But Dia officials don't see this as much of a gamble.

"We brought people to Chelsea in the beginning," recalled Lynne Cooke, Dia's curator. "Then Chelsea grew up around us." She predicts that the new site will attract more visitors, both those who now frequent Chelsea's art galleries and people trooping along the 22-block High Line, which will run all the way north to the 30's.

After all, Dia has pulled off more improbable feats. Two years ago, when it opened a 31-acre outpost along the Hudson River in Beacon, N.Y., many in the museum world doubted that it would draw much of an audience. Today, that giant, sky-lighted museum, with 250,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to installations of works by artists who emerged in the 1960's and 70's, attracts almost 100,000 visitors a year, more than twice the number Dia ever drew in Chelsea.

While large-scale museum projects tend to cause a neighborhood uproar as soon as they are announced, Dia has met with no such resistance since it publicized its Washington Street plans in May.

http://graphics.nytimes.com/images/2005/08/07/arts/voge-map450.gif

Neighborhood advocates are quick to explain why. One of the community's biggest fears, said Jo Hamilton, co-chairwoman and co-founder of the group Save Gansevoort Market, is being overwhelmed by too much night life. "In 2001 and 2002 we fought the Jean Nouvel residential tower," she recalled, referring to a proposal for an apartment building of more than 30 stories that was scaled back and later abandoned. "Back then, we discussed the beginnings of a 24-hour neighborhood. There are something like 44 liquor licenses within 400 square feet."

"So to bring in Dia makes it a more rounded neighborhood, helping to anchor it in a good way," she said.

A longtime protégé and former deputy of Thomas Krens, the maverick director of the Guggenheim Museum and its far-flung satellites, Mr. Govan is accustomed to negotiating with neighborhoods, from the Upper East Side to SoHo to the Basque city of Bilbao.

Yet Dia could well be described as the art world's un-Guggenheim. Both institutions are developing a network of spaces; both embrace contemporary art. But while Mr. Krens has pursued outposts around the world designed by big-name architects like Enrique Norten and Frank Gehry, Mr. Govan is fashioning a network of spaces closer to home that are as unobtrusive as possible.

"It's the inside that counts," he said.

And while Mr. Krens routinely shuttles exhibitions and collections from one Guggenheim to the next, from Manhattan to Bilbao to Berlin to St. Petersburg, Dia prefers that each of its spaces foster its own distinct artistic program. Like its Chelsea spaces, Dia's Washington Street galleries will feature site-specific installations by contemporary artists that will stay a minimum of six months.

In addition to its Beacon outpost, the foundation also oversees site-specific art installations like Walter De Maria's "New York Earth Room" and "Broken Kilometer" in Manhattan and "Lightning Field" in New Mexico; and with support from the Lannon Foundation, Michael Heizer's "City Project" in Nevada and Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" earth sculpture in Utah. Dia also oversees the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, N.Y., and works closely with Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Tex., the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston.

Created in 1974, Dia was never meant to be a conventional art institution. Its founders - the German art dealer Heiner Friedrich; his wife, the Houston arts patron Philippa de Menil; and Helen Winkler, a Houston art historian - simply bought works by artists they loved, like Flavin, Judd, Mr. de Maria, Joseph Beuys, Warhol, Mr. Twombly, John Chamberlain and Fred Sandback.

The foundation has carried on in the same tradition, focusing on specific artists who took off in the 60's and 70's and who revel in large scale. It has added major sculptures by Richard Serra, Judd and Mr. Heizer; it commissioned a series of eight paintings by Agnes Martin before her death last year. In Beacon, it opened three galleries of works by Robert Ryman dating from 1958 to 2003.

Not everyone agrees that this focus is good. Michael Rips, a writer and lawyer who provided pro bono counsel to Dia in the late 1990's, described the foundation as "a difficult place to get involved if you feel you want to influence the direction of the collection."

"Their focus relative to other museums is rather narrow," he said. "That structural limitation has an effect on who they are able to convince to go on the board and how long they are willing to remain on the board."

In 1996, the foundation's chairman, Ashton Hawkins, resigned, and nearly half of the trustees followed him, citing a loss of confidence in Mr. Govan. The departures coincided with the start of a $12 million fund-raising campaign to establish a permanent endowment to erase Dia's $750,000 deficit and provide operating funds. Since then, Mr. Govan has cultivated a new generation of board members and has raised about $10 million each year.

Recently the board has expanded to include some of today's new contemporary-art collectors and philanthropists, like James M. Allwin, president of AetosCapital, a Manhattan investment firm; Timothy Mott, a founder of Electronic Arts, the video game company; Bradford J. Race, a lawyer who was the former chief of staff for Gov. George E. Pataki; and the Manhattan collector Nathalie de Gunzburg. So far Dia has raised more than half the $55 million it needs to build its new space and to form the separate endowment for Manhattan programming. The biggest benefactor by far has been Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble, who has been Dia's chairman since 1998. He donated some $30 million toward the Beacon site and over the years has helped finance such acquisitions as "Torqued Ellipses," three monumental steel sculptures by Richard Serra.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/08/04/arts/08voge2.l.jpg

Carrie Boretz for The New York Times
Richard Serra's "Torqued Ellipses" at Dia: Beacon.

Mr. Govan, for his part, does not see Dia's mission as limiting. "Our program in New York is all about commissioning contemporary art," he countered, and "it hasn't been hard attracting board members."

What has been difficult, he said, is securing corporate sponsorship for Dia's programs. "We don't travel shows," he explained. "Nor do we do theme or group exhibitions, which is what most corporate sponsors want these days."
Given Dia's maverick status, Mr. Govan bristles at any suggestion that crowds or expansion is the foundation's overriding priority. "As an institution, we've always had the same three-part plan," he said. "The first was to put the permanent collection on view and grow it. Then, to complete and provide public access to projects out west. And finally, to continue what we have done in Chelsea."

The decision to abandon Chelsea was not easy, Dia officials say. It was the success of Beacon, with its sprawling, naturally lighted galleries and enthusiastic visitors, that opened their eyes. Over time, the reality of what Dia had achieved there made the limitations of the Chelsea buildings seem "even more glaring," said Ann Tenenbaum, Dia's vice chairman.

The flow within its main space, a four-story renovated warehouse, was too awkward to accommodate its 60,000 annual visitors. The former garage across the street could not easily be adapted for screening big video and sound works. "As the nature of art changes, we have to be able to change, too," Mr. Govan said.

Fleetingly, Dia's board considered giving up New York altogether, he noted. "But we'd miss the pulse of the city," he said. "The artists feed off each other."

And when Mr. Govan found the space on Washington Street, he said, it felt right. For one thing, the Beacon and the meatpacking-district site would be symbolically linked. "There's a nice poetry to the fact that the rail and the river connect these two spaces that once connected them in their industrial past," Mr. Govan said.

Ms. Tenenbaum said that Mr. Govan's proposal provoked lively discussion among the board members, but that nobody opposed it. "Everyone loved the idea of being in a different neighborhood," she said. "We like being pioneers."

At the moment, Dia hasn't decided whether to sell the Chelsea buildings, which Mr. Govan estimates are worth about $20 million, or lease them. But those assets could provide a cushion, enabling the foundation to add to its endowment or expand its programs' support. Mr. Govan speculated that the buildings' value could be harnessed to finance a separate endowment for the programs in its new space.

Meanwhile, the foundation is conducting feasibility studies on an expansion of the Beacon site, home to its permanent collection. Although the galleries there are unusually large, some works cannot be displayed, in some cases because of the placement of the building's structural columns. Dia envisions the creation of 70,000 square feet of additional exhibition space at Beacon within a series of pavilions designed by Peter Zumthor, a Swiss architect. That way it could exhibit, say, Mr. de Maria's "360° I Ching," (1981), an installation of 64 elements in a square grid surrounded by 64 elements in a circle; and some monumental towers by Louise Bourgeois.

However the Beacon site changes, the success it has already become, and the role he has played in it, seem to have whetted Mr. Riggio's appetite for the meatpacking-district move. And his support, of course, is crucial. "The idea of capping the High Line with a building only two stories high is great," he said. "It's the same architecture and northern light as Beacon."

At this point, Mr. Govan said it was still too early to say exactly what the new building will look like. No materials have been chosen, but it is clear that Dia officials envision a no-frills design. The new galleries will be simple, large, uninterrupted spaces. Mr. Govan said he saw the main gallery, conjoining the High Line, as "a factorylike space," roughly more than 200 feet long and more than 100 feet wide.

And with the added space, the foundation will be able to commission more ambitious projects, allowing the art to dominate its green and gritty surroundings.

krulltime
September 6th, 2005, 01:18 PM
High times along the High Line
New condos rise with park views


http://www.therealdeal.net//issues/SEPTEMBER_2005/images/1125340430.jpg
Christopher Mathieson, managing
partner of JC DeNiro & Associates, stands
above the future High Line park
(right, background).


By Tom Acitelli
September 2005

An elevated promenade could be the ribbon that unwinds through Manhattan's next hot neighborhood, changing what it means to live 'on the park.'

The area of West Chelsea around 10th Avenue to 11th Avenue, from 16th Street north to 30th Street, could in the next few years see some of the briskest condo development of any area in Manhattan. And much of that development will happen around what's being called the High Line, a 6.7-acre span of former elevated train track running 22 blocks ending at 34th Street that's expected to become a park.

Groundbreaking is slated by the end of 2005, and nearly $70 million in public funds has already been allocated for development.

The pending park and a recent rezoning of the area by the city have united like weather fronts over most of West Chelsea to help rain development on a neighborhood dominated by high-rise rentals and aging manufacturing and commercial space.

"Dating back 10 or 12 years ago, it was strictly kind of a gritty, warehouse area," said Stuart Siegel, managing director at Grubb & Ellis, which is marketing a new 20-story commercial condo building called the Chelsea Arts Tower on West 25th Street, an office and art gallery development among the many residential projects set to rise.

Siegel has worked in the area for more than a dozen years. "It was kind of a blighted area," he said. "Not much money had been spent in the buildings."

The site for the Chelsea Arts Tower, which is going up on a former parking lot, was bought for $9 million, said Siegel, who helped broker the land deal. The glass and concrete tower, set to open in early 2006, will feature galleries and terraces for exhibits and collections, with some of the space projected to sell for up to $1,000 a square foot.

Other developments bolster the story of West Chelsea's emergence.

There's 555 West 23rd Street, two new luxury rental buildings with 337 units being redesigned by Andi Pepper and Stephen B. Jacobs as condos. One-bedrooms, according to the New York Post, will start at $550,000 and two-bedrooms could go as high as $1.6 million. Douglaston Development topped out the buildings just this spring, making their short lives as rentals a telling example of the rush to capitalize on West Chelsea's changing residential face.

The former eyesore that's become a beacon for the neighborhood has lent its name to another bright spot, the Highline 519. The project at 519 West 23rd Street features 11 floor-through condos marketed by Prudential Douglas Elliman. Although it's about one block from its namesake, Andy Gerringer, director of Elliman's development marketing, said the Highline 519 was started more than two years ago, "before all the hoopla about the High Line became serious."

Studios there will start at around $700,000 and two-bedrooms may go as high as $1.75 million. These prices are well above Manhattan norms: The average sales price was $380,073 for a studio in the second quarter 2005, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel, and $1.54 million for a two-bedroom.

The Related Companies is also planning a residential building between 16th and 17th streets on the east side of 10th Avenue, fronting the High Line. Further south, a new luxury hotel is planned at Little West 12th and Washington streets. Developed by Andre Balazs' Hotels AB, it will be dubbed the Standard, New York. Details remain scarce, but Polshek Partnership has been named as the architect.

Overall, between 7,200 and 10,000 new residential units may be built in West Chelsea in the next seven to 10 years, according to broker estimates. As many as 900 could spring up within a single square block, around 23rd Street between 10th and 11th avenues.

"It's really going to be creating a whole entire neighborhood onto itself," said Christopher Mathieson, managing partner at JC DeNiro & Associates, which is nearly doubling the size of its Ninth Avenue office in anticipation of the residential influx.

As Mathieson drove down the West Side Highway in early August, rolling past recent residential developments in the West Village, he posed a question he thinks many will soon ask about 10th and 11th avenues farther north.

"It'll be the same way for West Chelsea," he said, pointing out newer high-rises in the West Village. "People will say, 'Remember when nothing was here?'"


Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.

TonyO
September 6th, 2005, 10:41 PM
These are from my recent trip to Paris where I saw the Promenade Plantee (Paris' Highline)...

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20010.jpg

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20015.jpg

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20016.jpg

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20017.jpg

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20018.jpg

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20020.jpg

http://home.nyc.rr.com/tottaviano/Picture%20021.jpg

krulltime
September 6th, 2005, 11:01 PM
^Oh very cool... Thanks for the photos! That Pari's Highline one looks amazing!

TonyO
September 7th, 2005, 08:53 AM
All the pictures are of the Promenade, it may be hard to tell. Some were taken on top of the actual 'park' while the first and last were from the ground.

krulltime
September 7th, 2005, 12:08 PM
High Line High-Rise Surprise!
Towers Pop Up; Even Gehry’s In


http://www.nyobserver.com/database/articleimages/photoimages/091205_article_schuerman.jpg
HIGH-RISE CHELSEA DRAMA High Line 519
(above) may lack a view, but hotelier Andre Balazs
gets to see Uma Thurman every night.


By Matthew Schuerman, Michael Calderone
September 7, 2005

Benigno Serrano bought 12,350 square feet adjacent to Chelsea’s High Line for just $900,000 in 1986.

Last year, he turned down $10 million for it. This year, a developer named Alf Naman finally got it for $12.5 million, according to city transfer records.

And that’s just the beginning. Welcome to the great High Line development cash-in! While the elevated railway itself is still just a rusty, weed-covered insurance liability, speculators and developers are already squeezing money from it. The towers of West Chelsea are on their way!

The developer who lost out on Mr. Serrano’s property is David Kislin. He’s building a 12-story condo tower called High Line 519 on an adjacent property that he purchased two years ago. High Line 519? “We had wanted to create a name with some association with the neighborhood, but something more than just the address. We considered something tied to history, but it didn’t really fit,” Mr. Kislin said. “New Yorkers are not that big on history. I am a huge history buff, but this name is looking forward.”

The architect on the building is up-and-comer Lindy Roy, who devised a sleek, glassy façade with geometric screens that function as railings for the French doors that open—watch it now—directly onto 23rd Street. Prices range from $860,000 to $3.4 million. Five of the 11 units are already sold.

For that price, you get large windows on the front and back. But the cut-outs that promotional materials show in the kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms—the ones that would actually look onto the High Line itself—will, it seems, be blocked by another tower.

Mr. Serrano sold that property, the one wedged between High Line 519 and the actual High Line, to his $12.5 million bidder, Alf Naman. And Mr. Naman is planning to build his own 12-story residential tower on the narrow sliver of land there.

Mr. Serrano’s not exactly grateful for his own windfall. “I wish anybody who got involved in it took a long walk on a short pier,” he said. “People can’t afford a studio around here, because it’s too much ****ing money.”

While Mr. Naman concedes that the coming High Line will increase property values nearby, he argues that his land would have been worth even more had the elevated railroad been knocked down and a full-scale tower built there instead. “Developers and owners gave up a lot by agreeing to sign on to the High Line,” he said.

But the prize for the most dramatic change of heart goes to a parking-lot and storage-facility operator in the area, Jerry Gottesman, who formed the Chelsea Property Owners about 15 years ago to force the High Line’s owner, CSX Transportation, to tear down the structure. (The rail line, which runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, mostly between 10th and 11th avenues, hadn’t been in use since 1980.)

Back then, the Giuliani administration sided with these folks and asked the federal government to condemn it. It took artful negotiations by the Bloomberg administration—and much fund-raising and civic canoodling by a park-obsessed group of do-gooders—to reverse that course and persuade opponents to give up their fight.

Under the rezoning passed by the City Council in June, Mr. Gottesman and other owners like him will be able to transfer or sell development rights for the parcels underneath and adjacent to the rail line so that they can build even higher on parcels farther away. So Mr. Gottesman became a developer instead. The status of his project is unclear, and neither he nor others at his company, Edison Properties, returned telephone messages.

But the chairman of the local community board, Lee Compton, said board members have seen plans, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, for two towers, one 290 feet high and the other 390 feet, for a parcel to the west of the High Line between 17th and 18th streets.

Small developers like Mr. Naman and Mr. Kislin know that their projects will benefit a lot if the High Line corridor can somehow distinguish itself architecturally from other luxury-condo ghettoes around the city. So in addition to boutique names like Roy and Denari, it’s important to get some real flash in the pan.

Enter the master! Frank Gehry’s first building in New York, the InterActivCorp Headquarters, is going up a half-block away from the High Line, just over on 11th Avenue between 18th and 19th streets. “It’s always been an area that has had a great deal of potential, and it’s one we have lots of confidence in,” said Joe Rose, a partner in the Georgetown Company, who is developing the project for InterActiveCorp, the massive media conglomerate that owns Ticketmaster, Expedia and Match.com.

That “confidence” may mean that Mr. Gehry’s first building, which should be completed by late 2006, may soon be joined by others.

Georgetown and Mr. Gehry may collaborate on two residential buildings just to the east of the IAC headquarters and adjacent to the High Line. Mr. Rose refused to give any specifics regarding his company’s future plans.

But Mr. Compton, the community-board chairman, said he participated in two video conference calls about the project with Mr. Gehry’s office, including one with the great architect himself. One building could go as high as 250 feet.

The Related Companies also has a project in the works, according to Mr. Compton and other officials, for the east side of 10th Avenue between 16th and 17th streets. It would also max out at 250 feet.

It’s the little sky-high strip of neighborhood that could!

One reason the zoning permits the Edison, Georgetown and Related buildings to go so high is that the companies get bonuses for ponying up. The three developers will give $22 million to the city, to be used to restore the portions of the High Line passing through their sites. In addition, the three developers have agreed to construct stairways, elevators, public restrooms and a storage shed for the park, according to a city planning official.

“A lot of people at first said that this would be great if it happened, but it’s never going to happen,” said Robert Hammond, who, with friend Joshua David, co-founded the group Friends of the High Line, which conceived of the park concept. “When people realized it was going to happen, they realized it was a great asset.”

“I don’t think it’s even important if [a building] looks out onto the High Line,” Mr. Hammond said. “It’s like Gramercy Park—you don’t have to look out onto the park, but it will increase your property values if you live near enough to get keys.” Mmhmm!

The tasty quid pro quo arrangements don’t extend south of 16th Street, since that area wasn’t affected by the rezoning. Still, developers down there in the meatpacking district are building up and over the High Line.

At 14th Street, the High Line Building will use an existing base spanning the rail line as a foundation for a 10-story office and retail edifice. Hotelier André Balazs is creating a 15-story hotel to span the rails at 848 Washington Street. The flashy owner of the upscale Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and Hotel Mercer in Soho is excited about developing a moderately priced hotel around the unique structure.

“Because we always do very site-specific places, the High Line is front and center in the entire conceptualization of this building,” said Mr. Balazs.

“No matter what you do—even if you are building from the ground up—you do have this fascinating train track running through your building,” he continued. “While it is obviously a new building in terms of its complexity, I think it is closer to a renovation.”

Reportedly, Mr. Balazs planned to build the first hotel of his Standard hotel chain in Manhattan a few years back at 210 Lafayette Street. But he opted against it, deciding to build the hotel on the High Line, utilizing the Soho land instead to develop One Kenmare Square, his 53-unit luxury condominium currently nearing completion.

Last summer, Mr. Balazs purchased two buildings at 454 West 13th Street and 856 Washington Street for $18 million, according to city records.

Initially, there was speculation that Mr. Balazs had chosen Gluckman Mayner Architects for the High Line project, the firm responsible for the Lafayette Street project. Despite some renderings that floated around popular real-estate blogs, Mr. Balazs ended up choosing Polshek Partnership Architects, whose work he describes at “elegant” and “flexible,” while emphasizing a “culture of collaboration.”

But there was one more additional requirement: The architect had to be Manhattan-based, preferably within walking distance. “In my mind, it was a given that whoever we picked had to be local,” Mr. Balazs said.

Speaking of locality, the Standard will be built just a few blocks from the glitzy Hotel Gansevoort, which opened in March 2004. However, Mr. Balazs’ hotel will be far less expensive than its luxurious neighbor. At the Gansevoort, rooms begin at $325; the Standard will provide accommodations starting at a third of the price.

After completing demolition of the industrial buildings three months ago, Mr. Balazs is looking forward to finalizing the hotel’s plans. However, other than admitting that he will lay the foundation in January 2006, he was unwilling to provide any juicy details.

West Chelsea, nurtured by the white-walled galleries lining the streets, has been a good place to drop a few million for several years now. The next luxury residential development to actually arrive, the Chelsea Arts Tower, is slated to open on West 25th Street in early 2006. The glass and concrete tower will reportedly offer to sell for about $1,000 per square foot. It’s indisputable that the High Line Park plan has made land underneath the structure suddenly valuable, but whether it will make the finished products on either side any more expensive than other Chelsea real estate is, well, speculation.


copyright © 2005 the new york observer, L.P.

krulltime
September 7th, 2005, 06:19 PM
^ What do you mean? If you are asking if the park has started on the High Line... the answer is Not Yet.

TonyO
September 7th, 2005, 07:06 PM
No, the one in Paris, was it restored as the High Line in New York will be?

Yes, very similar situation. It was an unused railway that they restored like you see in the pictures. There is retail in the arches on one part as you can see in the last picture, and more NYC-Highline-like steel structure like in the first picture.

The experience of walking on top is surreal and much better than walking on the street. You can still hear the traffic, but it seems distant.

lofter1
September 8th, 2005, 11:59 AM
High Line High-Rise Surprise!
Towers Pop Up; Even Gehry’s In


By Matthew Schuerman, Michael Calderone

http://www.observer.com/finance_financialpress.asp



http://www.observer.com/database/articleimages/photoimages/091205_article_schuerman.jpg

HIGH-RISE CHELSEA DRAMA High Line 519 (above) may lack a view,
but hotelier Andre Balazs gets to see Uma Thurman every night.

Benigno Serrano bought 12,350 square feet adjacent to Chelsea’s High Line for just $900,000 in 1986.

Last year, he turned down $10 million for it. This year, a developer named Alf Naman finally got it for $12.5 million, according to city transfer records.

And that’s just the beginning. Welcome to the great High Line development cash-in! While the elevated railway itself is still just a rusty, weed-covered insurance liability, speculators and developers are already squeezing money from it. The towers of West Chelsea are on their way!

The developer who lost out on Mr. Serrano’s property is David Kislin. He’s building a 12-story condo tower called High Line 519 on an adjacent property that he purchased two years ago. High Line 519? “We had wanted to create a name with some association with the neighborhood, but something more than just the address. We considered something tied to history, but it didn’t really fit,” Mr. Kislin said. “New Yorkers are not that big on history. I am a huge history buff, but this name is looking forward.”

The architect on the building is up-and-comer Lindy Roy, who devised a sleek, glassy façade with geometric screens that function as railings for the French doors that open—watch it now—directly onto 23rd Street. Prices range from $860,000 to $3.4 million. Five of the 11 units are already sold.

For that price, you get large windows on the front and back. But the cut-outs that promotional materials show in the kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms—the ones that would actually look onto the High Line itself—will, it seems, be blocked by another tower.

Mr. Serrano sold that property, the one wedged between High Line 519 and the actual High Line, to his $12.5 million bidder, Alf Naman. And Mr. Naman is planning to build his own 12-story residential tower on the narrow sliver of land there.

Mr. Serrano’s not exactly grateful for his own windfall. “I wish anybody who got involved in it took a long walk on a short pier,” he said. “People can’t afford a studio around here, because it’s too much ****ing money.”

While Mr. Naman concedes that the coming High Line will increase property values nearby, he argues that his land would have been worth even more had the elevated railroad been knocked down and a full-scale tower built there instead. “Developers and owners gave up a lot by agreeing to sign on to the High Line,” he said.

But the prize for the most dramatic change of heart goes to a parking-lot and storage-facility operator in the area, Jerry Gottesman, who formed the Chelsea Property Owners about 15 years ago to force the High Line’s owner, CSX Transportation, to tear down the structure. (The rail line, which runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, mostly between 10th and 11th avenues, hadn’t been in use since 1980.)

Back then, the Giuliani administration sided with these folks and asked the federal government to condemn it. It took artful negotiations by the Bloomberg administration—and much fund-raising and civic canoodling by a park-obsessed group of do-gooders—to reverse that course and persuade opponents to give up their fight.

Under the rezoning passed by the City Council in June, Mr. Gottesman and other owners like him will be able to transfer or sell development rights for the parcels underneath and adjacent to the rail line so that they can build even higher on parcels farther away. So Mr. Gottesman became a developer instead. The status of his project is unclear, and neither he nor others at his company, Edison Properties, returned telephone messages.

But the chairman of the local community board, Lee Compton, said board members have seen plans, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, for two towers, one 290 feet high and the other 390 feet, for a parcel to the west of the High Line between 17th and 18th streets.

Small developers like Mr. Naman and Mr. Kislin know that their projects will benefit a lot if the High Line corridor can somehow distinguish itself architecturally from other luxury-condo ghettoes around the city. So, in addition to boutique names like Roy and Denari, it’s important to get some real flash in the pan.

Enter the master! Frank Gehry’s first building in New York, the InterActivCorp Headquarters, is going up a half-block away from the High Line, just over on 11th Avenue between 18th and 19th streets. “It’s always been an area that has had a great deal of potential, and it’s one we have lots of confidence in,” said Joe Rose, a partner in the Georgetown Company, who is developing the project for InterActiveCorp, the massive media conglomerate that owns Ticketmaster, Expedia and Match.com.

That “confidence” may mean that Mr. Gehry’s first building, which should be completed by late 2006, may soon be joined by others.

Georgetown and Mr. Gehry may collaborate on two residential buildings just to the east of the IAC headquarters and adjacent to the High Line. Mr. Rose refused to give any specifics regarding his company’s future plans.

But Mr. Compton, the community-board chairman, said he participated in two video conference calls about the project with Mr. Gehry’s office, including one with the great architect himself. One building could go as high as 250 feet.

The Related Companies also has a project in the works, according to Mr. Compton and other officials, for the east side of 10th Avenue between 16th and 17th streets. It would also max out at 250 feet.

It’s the little sky-high strip of neighborhood that could!

One reason the zoning permits the Edison, Georgetown and Related buildings to go so high is that the companies get bonuses for ponying up. The three developers will give $22 million to the city, to be used to restore the portions of the High Line passing through their sites. In addition, the three developers have agreed to construct stairways, elevators, public restrooms and a storage shed for the park, according to a city planning official.

“A lot of people at first said that this would be great if it happened, but it’s never going to happen,” said Robert Hammond, who, with friend Joshua David, co-founded the group Friends of the High Line, which conceived of the park concept. “When people realized it was going to happen, they realized it was a great asset.”

“I don’t think it’s even important if [a building] looks out onto the High Line,” Mr. Hammond said. “It’s like Gramercy Park—you don’t have to look out onto the park, but it will increase your property values if you live near enough to get keys.” Mmhmm!

The tasty quid pro quo arrangements don’t extend south of 16th Street, since that area wasn’t affected by the rezoning. Still, developers down there in the meatpacking district are building up and over the High Line.

At 14th Street, the High Line Building will use an existing base spanning the rail line as a foundation for a 10-story office and retail edifice. Hotelier André Balazs is creating a 15-story hotel to span the rails at 848 Washington Street. The flashy owner of the upscale Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and Hotel Mercer in Soho is excited about developing a moderately priced hotel around the unique structure.

“Because we always do very site-specific places, the High Line is front and center in the entire conceptualization of this building,” said Mr. Balazs.

“No matter what you do—even if you are building from the ground up—you do have this fascinating train track running through your building,” he continued. “While it is obviously a new building in terms of its complexity, I think it is closer to a renovation.”

Reportedly, Mr. Balazs planned to build the first hotel of his Standard hotel chain in Manhattan a few years back at 210 Lafayette Street. But he opted against it, deciding to build the hotel on the High Line, utilizing the Soho land instead to develop One Kenmare Square, his 53-unit luxury condominium currently nearing completion.

Last summer, Mr. Balazs purchased two buildings at 454 West 13th Street and 856 Washington Street for $18 million, according to city records.

Initially, there was speculation that Mr. Balazs had chosen Gluckman Mayner Architects for the High Line project, the firm responsible for the Lafayette Street project. Despite some renderings that floated around popular real-estate blogs, Mr. Balazs ended up choosing Polshek Partnership Architects, whose work he describes at “elegant” and “flexible,” while emphasizing a “culture of collaboration.”

But there was one more additional requirement: The architect had to be Manhattan-based, preferably within walking distance. “In my mind, it was a given that whoever we picked had to be local,” Mr. Balazs said.

Speaking of locality, the Standard will be built just a few blocks from the glitzy Hotel Gansevoort, which opened in March 2004. However, Mr. Balazs’ hotel will be far less expensive than its luxurious neighbor. At the Gansevoort, rooms begin at $325; the Standard will provide accommodations starting at a third of the price.

After completing demolition of the industrial buildings three months ago, Mr. Balazs is looking forward to finalizing the hotel’s plans. However, other than admitting that he will lay the foundation in January 2006, he was unwilling to provide any juicy details.

West Chelsea, nurtured by the white-walled galleries lining the streets, has been a good place to drop a few million for several years now. The next luxury residential development to actually arrive, the Chelsea Arts Tower, is slated to open on West 25th Street in early 2006. The glass and concrete tower will reportedly offer to sell for about $1,000 per square foot. It’s indisputable that the High Line Park plan has made land underneath the structure suddenly valuable, but whether it will make the finished products on either side any more expensive than other Chelsea real estate is, well, speculation.

krulltime
November 16th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Yes! Now I can't wait for the park to sart!


City officially acquires High Line viaduct

http://www.therealdeal.net//breaking_news/2005/11/16/images/3422.jpg
The High Line: Now under
new ownership

November 16, 2005

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that the city acquired this month the title to the High Line elevated rail viaduct from CSX Transportation. The transfer of title – CSX donated the High Line to the city – clears the way for the run-down viaduct's transformation into a new public park running from Gansevoort Street to the Hudson Yards. The first section of the High Line park is expected to open in 2008, just in time to become a nearby amenity for various new developments in West Chelsea.


Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal

TomAuch
November 16th, 2005, 05:37 PM
Any new condo that gets built near that thing is going to have their value skyrocket because of the High Line.

krulltime
November 16th, 2005, 09:02 PM
^ Yeah and also the ones that are going to be built on top of the Highline.

krulltime
November 16th, 2005, 09:42 PM
More on the news....


City acquires ownership of High Line


by Catherine Tymkiw

The city acquired the title to the High Line from CSX Transportation Inc., paving the way for the abandoned elevated railway on Manhattan’s West Side to be transformed into a landscaped public space next year.

In addition, the city and CSX signed a Trail Use Agreement, permitting the rail structure to be used as a walking trail. The first section of the High Line is slated to open to the public in 2008. Construction will be carried out in two phases, with the first commencing next year.

“The transfer of ownership of the High Line from CSX to the City marks another important milestone in our efforts to create a one-of-a-kind public space for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.

The High Line’s open space will run from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District through West Chelsea to the Hudson Yards.

Nonprofit Friends of the High Line have been lobbying since 1999 for the High Line to be turned into a public open space and the Bloomberg Administration came on board with its endorsement of the project in 2002.

“We’re especially grateful to Mayor Bloomberg and his Administration for their vision and unstinting work to move the project forward. They took a structure that has been mired in legal disputes for nearly 20 years and turned it around, bringing it to the start of construction in just three short years,” said FHL co-founder Robert Hammond in a statement.

The project has received $84.75 million funding commitments from federal, state and local government agencies and authorities. In June, the West Chelsea neighborhood around the High Line was rezoned to support the creation of public space and to allow for new residential and commercial development.


©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

krulltime
November 18th, 2005, 12:17 PM
High and mighty
Inspired by a development in Paris, the High Line elevated freight track area gets reinvented


http://specialsections.nypost.com/news/nypost/commercialre/20051103/img/a_3_p58.jpg

http://specialsections.nypost.com/news/nypost/commercialre/20051103/img/a_2_p56.jpg


By LOIS WEISS

THE reconstruction of the High Line into a new sky park is getting closer to reality along with numerous construction projects designed to integrate and enhance the adjacent areas.

The High Line is an elevated, and currently dilapidated, former freight line that begins at Gansvoort Street and meanders northwards between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.

It loops east from 30th to 34th Street where plans call for it to provide a walkway into the Javits convention center.

Years of collaboration between the Friends of the High Line and the city have also resulted in recent zoning changes to allow neighboring lot and building owners to reinvent the entire area.

“There will be several entry points and once they light it and clean it up, it will provide another dimension to what can be created,” said John Brod, a principal of PBS Realty Advisors.

There are many plans on the drawing boards that will incorporate the High Line into new and current structures.

Somerset Partners has already created an opening to the High Line for an second story tenant at 85 Tenth Avenue.

“We’re not really affected but we are really looking forward to getting it developed because a public amenity of this nature will only serve to enhance our building,” said Keith Rubenstein, a Somerset partner.

Because otherwise unusable air rights can be transferred to other buildings, a flurry of schemes is underway.

“You can transfer air rights from under the high line to anywhere in the district,” said Alan Miller of Eastern Consolidated Properties, who has been working with both owners and sellers to enhance their projects.

For several years, Brod said, the Cipriani family has been exploring ways to open a restaurant in an adjacent building and use the High Line as part of an open air café — but they have yet to cut a deal for the perfect spot.

Jeff Mulligan, project supervisor from City Planning, said: “The design both preserves the ‘wild-scape’ and a combination of new and old — it preserves the historic integrity of the line but also introduces artwork.”

For instance, the Dia Museum would like to open a branch at the southern terminus at Gansvoort and 820 Washington Street so that artworks can be integrated into the open space.

“People want a balance between art and restaurants but don’t want to overwhelm it with uses,” said Mulligan. “They want to make it a refuge from the city.”

So where new buildings want to “engage” the High Line, approvals will be on a case by case basis, Mulligan said.

Brod and his PBS partner, Laura Pomerantz, have been working for years with various retailers such as the Ciprianis trying to identify sites both under and adjacent to the High Line for uses from sports clubs and galleries to restaurants and entertainment venues.

“To put something together like this takes time,” said Pomerantz.

Hotelier Andre Balazs would like to construct a Standard Hotel at 440 W. 13th Street on a 32,000 foot plot that runs through to Little West 12th Street.

“They are interested in potentially having public access for the High Line,” said Mulligan.

The previous developer lost a battle with community activists who did not want luxury condos added to the neighborhood.

At 450 W. 14th Street, plans call for a new building with the High Line running through the middle, said Christopher Owles of Sin-vin Realty who is the broker for the project.

Another area of High Line activity is between 16th and 19th Streets where there is a wider swath shared by three major projects.

These projects will obtain bonus development rights for providing access to the High Line with both staircases, elevators and providing a public “porch,” i.e., a wider sitting area.

East of Tenth Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets on the site of the former Chelsea Garden Center, sources said Related Cos. and Taconic Partners are planning a building by Gary Handel.

“They are required to provide access to and improve the High Line as part of their development,” said Mulligan.

Real estate sources said this block of 50,000 square feet could potentially result in a nearly 400,000 foot project.

Between 17th and 18th Street, the Edison Properties ownership will also be required to install a public “porch” plaza.

Edison is said to have engaged architect Robert A.M. Stern for the residential design. It is unclear if Edison, generally a parking lot operator, will develop this site themselves or bring in partners.

Georgetown Properties controls the block between 18th and 19th Streets. At the western end they are already developing Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp. headquarters with a prominent Frank Geary design.

There has been talk of yet another Frank Geary designed residential property for Georgetown’s eastern end of the block.

The next development flurry is around 23rd Street where builders are still finalizing plans. Between 22nd and 23rd Street, Leviev Boymelgreen is planning a rental building.

“We hope we can contribute to the design of the access to the High Line,” said Sara Mirski, senior development director of Leviev Boymelgreen.

On the north side between 23rd Street and 24th Street, Alf Naman is working on plans that could incorporate galleries underneath. According to Mulligan, he is not required to install stairs or an elevator now, but must set aside the space for the city to do so at a later date.

“There is a lot of discussion for development north of 24th Street, but nothing has come across our desk,” said Mulligan.

Once the High Line crosses 30th Street it continues further west around the current railyards.

“We’re holding off on a final design for that area,” said Mulligan.

Mirski is among those worried about security for the High Line but the planners are taking it seriously working on specific hours of operations, locking gates, human patrols and video surveillance.

“At a certain hour, when it’s closed, it’s closed,” explained Brod. “It’s going to be a controlled environment. The Promenade Plantee in Paris — which was an inspiration for the High Line — has turned out to be a very safe haven.”

“It will have to be maintained and operated and secured,” noted Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

Security will be provided by the city and Benepe envisions having Parks Department enforcement patrols which can write summonses.

While a Business Improvement District structure has “not been ruled out,” Benepe noted that BID officers can provide security but “not enforce rules.”

If a BID is organized, and nearby property owners pay an additional tax assessment, the BID would likely provide some sanitation and horticultural work along with event organization.

“It will be a great public amenity,” said Rubenstein, “but a lot has yet to go on from planning to execution.”


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

krulltime
December 17th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Turning the High Line Into ... the High Life


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/12/16/realestate/18covmap.jpg


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/12/16/realestate/18cov583.jpg
The High Line, above, looking north from 19th Street.


By CLAIRE WILSON
Published: December 18, 2005

SAY bye-bye to the parking lots along 10th Avenue, between 14th and 30th Streets, and maybe a few of the chaotic clubs and bars on the side streets. Bid adieu to the rough-and-tumble allure of taxi garages and the fringe of weeds running the length of the High Line, the derelict but irresistibly charming dinosaur of an elevated railroad that is the backbone of West Chelsea's thriving gallery scene.

Say hello to designer buildings, valet parking, concierges, meditation gardens and, oh yes, lines of limos jockeying for position outside the borough's trendiest new restaurants branded by celebrity chefs like Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and Masaharu Morimoto.

The heady grit-and-glamour cocktail that New Yorkers so love about the meatpacking district is about to expand northward - although perhaps with more glamour than grit in the final equation - as the city's major developers snatch up any and all available parcels along the High Line and start work on a planned 5,500 units of housing, all but 1,100 of them for the fabulously well-heeled.

Zoning changes made final last summer have won praise for how they put the spotlight on the elevated 22-block park the High Line is to become and protect the estimated 200 galleries while allowing extensive luxury residential development. Height limitations and required setbacks on some new buildings will complement the 66-year-old structure and conserve views of it, while preserving some of the light and open spaces that have defined the neighborhood. Work on the High Line is to begin next year, with the first phase scheduled to be completed by 2008.

Alf Naman, a principal with Alf Naman Real Estate Advisors, plans four projects and is considering a fifth along the High Line, which the city officially took possession of last month from CSX Transportation.

"The neighborhood would not be half as interesting if it didn't have the galleries, which bring vitality and life to an area that would otherwise be just a bunch of residential buildings," said Mr. Naman. One of his projects is a 20-story condo tower designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel.

What some say amounts to Manhattan's biggest land grab since a handful of Native Americans took a few beads in trade for the entire borough gets high grades for the most part, but that was not always the case. Developers balked - and some who wanted it torn down threatened to sue - when Friends of the High Line was formed in 1999 and proposed the idea of turning the railroad bed into an elevated park. Six years later, the corridor is like catnip to the same developers, with more than a dozen projects planned and countless others being considered.

At the southern end of the High Line, at Gansevoort Street in the meatpacking district, the Dia:Chelsea museum will serve as anchor for the new neighborhood, with a tony 330-room André Balazs hotel, the Standard, nearby. One block north, 10 stories of commercial space will be added to the building on the southwest corner of 14th Street and 10th Avenue, and the adjacent building will likewise be converted to commercial space, according to Charles Blakeman of High Line Development LLC.

At 16th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, partners in the Chelsea Market, Stephan Zoukis, who is a partner at Jamestown Properties, and Irwin Cohen, have hired Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects to explore adding a residential component to the popular shopping complex, which will also be home to Mr. Morimoto's restaurant. Across the street, at 85 10th Avenue, is where Del Posto, Mr. Batali's new restaurant with Joseph Bastianich and his mother, Lidia Bastianich, is to open sometime in the next month. Craftsteak, Mr. Colicchio's restaurant, is to follow next year.

Where the Chelsea Garden Center once stood, on the east side of 10th Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets, the Related Companies and Taconic Investment Partners plan a 23-story tower that will have 200 condos and 250 rentals, with stores on the 10th Avenue side. Related is also considering development at 30th Street and 10th Avenue, where the High Line ends, but no details are available, according to David J. Wine, vice chairman of the company.

The community fought the heights of these buildings but lost. Melva Max, the owner of La Luncheonette, across the street from the Edison projects, who has lived in the neighborhood since opening the restaurant 18 years ago, worries about density and how the tall buildings will obscure views of the new 6.7-acre High Line park.

"You won't even see the High Line any more and there won't be any light," Ms. Max said. "What are they going to do, put grow lights in there?"

On 11th Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets, the buildings are on a smaller scale. Work has begun on a project by the Georgetown Company and IAC/InterActiveCorp, a nine-story building that will be the architect Frank Gehry's first in New York. Adjacent to the Kitchen Theater Company, it will serve as headquarters for IAC's Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Lending Tree, Expedia.com, Match.com and Citysearch. Georgetown is also in the predevelopment stage of a mixed-use building, likewise designed by Frank Gehry, that is to occupy the 10th Avenue side of the block.

As per the new zoning, midblock buildings will be smaller in scale than those on the avenues. On the north side of 18th Street east of 10th Avenue, Madison Equities plans a 12-story residential structure, with gallery configurations at ground level.

Adjacent to the Kitchen on the south side of 19th Street, Bishop's Court Realty is to begin construction next month on an 11-story residential building designed by the architect Annabelle Seldorf. It will replace a three-story vacant warehouse, according to John Jacobson, a partner in the company.

The Jean Nouvel building being built by Alf Naman, in partnership with Cape Advisors, is to be at 11th Avenue and 19th Street, in place of a parking lot. A block away, Tamarkin Architects P.C. plans a 12-story condo tower on the southeast corner of 10th Avenue and 19th Street, once the site of a driving school.

On 21st Street, the General Theological Seminary has proposed a 17-story residential tower on Ninth Avenue, at the east side of its historic campus, which occupies the entire block.

At 23rd Street and 10th Avenue, the developer Leviev Boymelgreen is to break ground next spring on a residential tower with retail stores at street level, where a gasoline station once stood. On the north side of 23rd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, Alf Naman is to build a 12-story apartment building, behind which, on 24th Street, there will be two small galleries and a retail complex. Alf Naman is also planning a 12-story residential building on the north side of 24th Street and west of 10th Avenue.

Developers are reluctant to speculate on prices for new residential buildings, none of which will open before 2007. Recent sales of new apartments in the area include $2.7 million for a triplex penthouse in the Chelsea Club, on West 19th Street near 10th Avenue, and $3.65 million for one of four penthouses at the 14-story Vesta 24, nearing completion on 10th Avenue near 24th Street.

Demand for new apartments in the neighborhood will not be a problem if the Vesta 24 is any indication. "All the two-bedroom apartments sold out within 36 hours," said Jim Brawders, senior vice president for the Corcoran Group. When the sales occurred a year ago, prices on a two-bedroom ranged from $1.1 million to $1.4 million.

On West 25th Street close to 11th Avenue, floors of the Chelsea Arts Tower, a 20-story commercial condo tower under construction, have been selling for $750 to $1,200 a square foot, or an average of $3 million, according to Stuart Siegel, managing director of Grubb & Ellis, which is marketing the building. Designed to house galleries and private collections, the 75,000-square-foot structure will open in August.

Area rents will probably be higher than in the adjacent Chelsea historic district, but they are also hard to predict. At the Tate, a rental building with two towers on 23rd Street that was built by Related and opened in late 2001, rents range from $2,300 for a studio to $6,500 for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit with a terrace, according to Mr. Wine.

Sites for the affordable-housing units have not yet been determined but will be designed for a broad swath of working people, not just the poorest of the poor, according to Lee Compton, chairman of Community Board 4. Chelsea has historically been a working-class area, but hurtling gentrification over the last two decades has forced many of those people out and isolated those who remain, particularly in places like the Fulton Houses, the 944-unit public housing project on Ninth Avenue between 16th and 19th Streets.

"We were a blue-collar neighborhood where people had lived for 40 or 50 years," Mr. Compton said. "We wanted to preserve the opportunity for them and their children to stay in the community. We didn't want it to become completely gentrified."

Del Posto will be the latest arrival on a restaurant row that includes established hot spots like Florent, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market, La Luncheonette, the Red Cat and Bottino. There are also the other newcomers: Cookshop, the Korean-infused D'or Ahn, and Stephen Starr's Buddakan, as well as Craftsteak and Mr. Morimoto's restaurant when they open.

Add that lineup to the stellar roster of top-tier architects, a hip hotel, design museum, Hudson River Park, Chelsea Piers and the High Line itself, and what is emerging is a strangely organic yet somewhat self-consciously cutting-edge neighborhood where just about everything passes the style test. If that is the goal, it appears to be succeeding in ways no one ever imagined.

"It makes the city young, attractive and exciting and it will bring people to New York to visit, to work and to look at it," said Amanda M. Burden, commissioner of the Department of City Planning. "It puts us on the world stage in a whole new way."

The high-profile architects are a big part of that. It is something the art galleries and the reinvented High Line, with its $130 million price tag, laid the groundwork for, according to Joseph Rose, partner in the Georgetown Company and a former planning commissioner. "The art world has brought a sensibility that creates a context where the commitment to first-class architecture is not something that's alien," Mr. Rose said. "This is clearly a recognition on the part of the private sector that there is value in being open to and investing in architectural quality."

If clubs in the area - and there are many, like Bungalow 8, Spirit, Glass, Crobar and Marquee - become casualties of development, many area residents won't miss the chaos of late-night traffic and noise. Gallery owners worry about the same fate, and whether they will eventually have to move out of Chelsea the way many moved from SoHo as real estate prices soared.

Magda Sawon, the owner of the 20-year-old Postmasters Gallery on 10th Avenue, migrated to Chelsea from SoHo eight years ago and was in the East Village before that. She views 5,000 high-income newcomers as potential art viewers and art shoppers but worries about the effect increasing costs will have on the rent galleries pay.

"The radical work which guides art and makes it progress will get priced out," she said.

Frank Maresca, a partner in the 27-year-old Ricco/Maresca Gallery, which also started in SoHo, said it is hard to imagine people buying in Chelsea and not being influenced by the gallery scene or wanting to support it. But he acknowledged that the vitality of the Chelsea art community is impossible to predict.

"Right now, the art market is hot, but art is of the moment and when the moment is over, it won't be there," he said. "If you want to know the future, just look at the past."


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/12/18/realestate/18cov2184.jpg
Frank Maresca, from top, a
partner in the Ricco/Maresca
Gallery; Melva Max, the owner
of La Luncheonette; and the
developers Craig D. Wood of
Cape Advisors Inc. and Alf
Naman of Alf Naman Real
Estate Advisors.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/12/16/realestate/18cov3.jpg
The High Line crossing 10th
Avenue at 16th Street.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/12/16/realestate/18cov2.jpg
Magda Sawon, the owner of the
Postmasters Gallery.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/12/18/realestate/18cov1.jpg
The High Line heading south from
19th Street.




Copyright 2005The New York Times Company

Derek2k3
December 18th, 2005, 04:42 PM
Here's Ten Arquitectos' Chelsea Arts Tower.
http://img.slate.com/media/1/123125/2079215/2112767/2122005/2123460/CHELSEA_02.jpg

Too bad this design (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=56149&postcount=320) is being built instead.

pianoman11686
January 27th, 2006, 07:21 PM
Initial work on High Line park’s south end to begin next month

By Albert Amateau


Preliminary construction on the conversion of the High Line into a one-of-a-kind elevated park is scheduled to begin in mid-February when fencing will be installed to protect the railings of the structure between Gansevoort and W. 20th Sts.


The estimated timetable and scope of work involved in preparing the southern end of the derelict railroad viaduct for its transformation into a landscaped promenade was presented this month to the Community Board 2 Parks Committee by Friends of the High Line and the City Department of Parks and Recreation.


“There’s no specific date yet for construction, but by the end of February we’ll have protective fencing for the decorative iron railing at the street crossings and the iron pipe railings in between,” said Joshua David — a founder of Friends of the High Line, which has led the movement to save the 74-year-old structure — commenting on the project last week.


“We want to protect as much of the original structure as possible and replace or restore what we have to remove,” David added.


At the same time, crews will install netting under the structure to protect the streets and properties below during the actual construction of High Line Park’s first nine blocks along the west sides of Washington St. and 10th Ave.


If all goes according to plan, the infrastructure and landscape work between Gansevoort and 20th Sts. will be completed and this section will open to visitors in the spring of 2008.


After the protective fencing and netting are in place at the end of February, site preparation work will begin later this spring.


The structure, built by the New York Central Railroad to raise railroad freight tracks above street level, consists of a steel frame enclosing a concrete lining 18 feet to 30 feet above street level. The lining holds gravel ballast, which supports the rail ties and rails that once carried freight from north of the city down to the St. John’s Rail Terminal near Canal St. The Downtown end, from Canal to Gansevoort Sts., was taken down in phases starting more than 25 years ago.


In the first phase of the project, to prepare the structure for park use, the railroad ties, rails and gravel will be removed to allow restoration of the steel and concrete. The work will include repairing the drainage, removing the lead-based paint and repainting with a nontoxic paint.


“We’ll be doing pigeon mitigation,” David added. “Anyone who has walked under the High Line can notice the nesting and mess that pigeons have made over the years,” he observed.


The second phase involves construction of the public landscape, including access systems — stairs, elevators — pathways, seating, lighting and safety features.


The landscape work is being designed by a team led by the Field Operations firm of James Corner with the architectural firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It will require new ballast, with sections of the old rail ties and rails replaced. “We don’t want people to forget that the High Line was a railroad,” David said. “The rail ties and rails will be numbered and stored so that we can replace them wherever appropriate,” he said.


The High Line’s vegetation of weeds, grass, bushes and even trees, sown by the wind and birds and rooted in the gravel ballast over the years, will be reproduced as much as possible by plantings, and the new ballast will accept new wind-sown seeds to germinate, take root and flourish.


Friends of the High Line will sponsor a presentation by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro of the latest plans for the park at 6:30 p.m. Mon. Feb. 13 at Cedar Lake Theater, 547 W. 26th St. between 10th and 11th Aves.


The elevated park will eventually extend 1.5 miles up to W. 33rd St. where the railroad tracks dip underground south of the Javits Convention Center and connect with rail lines to the north and to Penn Station. Currently, $84 million in public funds — $62 million from the city and $22 million from federal sources — has been appropriated for the entire project.


At the park’s southern end at Gansevoort St., the entrance to the High Line will be incorporated into the Dia Art Foundation’s new Manhattan museum, to be built on Meat Market property owned by New York City.


“We’re still negotiating with various city agencies about the lease for the property and we hope to have our plan certified by City Planning sometime in March,” said Laura Raicovich, Dia’s external affairs director.


Certification by the Department of City Planning begins the city’s uniform land-use review procedure, required for major projects and land use changes. The procedure, which takes from six months to a year, involves a series of hearings and reviews by community boards and the Department of City Planning, culminating in City Council action.


“We are a few months behind the High Line,” said Raicovich. “So if the High Line opens in the spring of 2008, we’ll open in the fall.”

Copyright 2006 The Villager

ablarc
January 28th, 2006, 11:16 AM
This all sounds so exciting...and just a little bit boring.

Kris
February 5th, 2006, 07:16 AM
February 5, 2006
City Lore
Blasts From the Past
By MEERA SUBRAMANIAN

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/02/05/nyregion/thecity/05high_lg.jpg
AN EL, OF SORTS Raised 30 feet, the High Line, seen during construction in 1933, replaced street tracks that led to many pedestrian deaths. Opened in 1934, the line could bear four loaded freight trains, but was ultimately felled by trucks.

IF you walk out the back door of the Chelsea Market, housed in the old Nabisco Building, and onto Tenth Avenue, you will be standing in the shadow of history. Any sunlight will be eclipsed by the rusted relic of an improbable railroad track that spans the street 30 feet overhead. While the scent of fresh-baked Oreo cookies and the screech of train brakes have vanished, the massive elevated rail tracks known as the High Line still snake north to the deserted 30th Street Rail Yards and south to Gansevoort Street.

But change is coming around the bend. Though the elevated structure will remain, by the end of this month the 1.5-mile High Line will conclude its 72 years as a busy and then an idle track and begin its transformation to a public park. By 2008, New Yorkers could be meandering above the meatpacking district amid the grasslands, wild petunias and hazelnut trees.

The battle to transform the High Line into a park has been waged for years. But hidden in the shadows of that struggle is the rail line's long and colorful history, a tale that is as compelling as the fight for its new life.

The defunct, weed-ridden High Line is a vestige of a century when trains were the city's lifeline. Along with ships, the trains brought in lumber and bricks for the buildings rising on every corner; meat, fruit and vegetables to feed the city's residents; and coal to provide power.

The Hudson River Line, opened in 1849, was a grand track that ran from New York City up the Hudson River to Albany, built at a cost of $45,316 per mile of track. Below 30th Street, railroad cars drawn by horses funneled goods from the West Side railyards to Spring Street, with stops that today's subway riders will recognize: 23rd Street, 14th, Christopher.

In 1867, when the horses were replaced by steam engines, both traffic and speed increased. So did the inevitable conflicts arising from a street-level railroad operating in a crowded neighborhood. This lethal mix of industry and humanity earned Tenth Avenue the nickname Death Avenue.

"The traction of freight and passenger trains by ordinary locomotives in the surface of the streets is an evil which has already been endured too long," a state senator said in 1866, "and must be speedily abated."

The speedy abatement took half a century. Finally, a deadline was set: If the tracks were not raised above the street by May 1, 1908, the city would seize them. The date came and went, with neither elevation nor condemnation.

The only concession to safety that had ever been made was the recruitment of young men to ride horses one block in front of the trains, waving a red flag by day and a red light by night. These men, a total of 12 often recruited from the countryside, rode the two-mile stretch for more than 80 years starting in 1850.

A 1934 newsletter from a local apartment house wrote effusively about the West Side Cowboys, as the group was known. "The horses used in this unusual service are tried and true, and are perfectly aware of their important mission in life," the newsletter observes, noting that the horses "move surely and serenely," allowing their riders "to amuse the passerby with amazing variation of the routine waving the lanterns."

Apparently, citizens weren't impressed enough. They organized under the name The League to End Death Avenue, but nothing was done beyond the cowboys.

Five months after the 1908 deadline had passed, 7-year-old Seth Low Hascamp, dressed in a shirt and overalls, left his home at 544 West 44th Street and headed to school at St. Ambrose, on 54th Street. The train that killed him reportedly ripped his small body apart. Seth was one of hundreds who had died since the tracks had been laid. His family, neighbors and classmates held a silent funeral procession through the streets.

Another 20 years would pass before Mayor Jimmy Walker and Gov. Al Smith stepped in with public money to elevate the tracks. By 1933, 1,000 men had eliminated 105 street-level rail crossings, and when the elevated track was christened in June 1934, The New York Times reported, "The West Side is coming into its own."

With its danger removed, the trains became something new. "It was very magical," said Ruth Olsen, a teacher at P.S./I.S. 123 in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx. She and her twin sister, Judith Courtney, peered down at them from the 20th-floor apartment on 20th Street and Ninth Avenue where they grew up in the 50's.

"They were so big, riding above ground, and terribly noisy," said Ms. Olsen, who still lives in Chelsea. "Those massive black trains — and they were all black back then — would screech and squeal. It would go on forever."

Ms. Courtney, who is moving back to the city after 30 years in San Francisco, can't shake the fantasy that she always saw the trains disappearing into the buildings — but never coming out.

"I think they went into an alternate universe, like Harry Potter," she said. For both sisters, the trains ranked with the smell of Nabisco cookies and the Maxwell House sign, "Good to the last drop," that blinked at them from across the Hudson River as neighborhood landmarks. "It's all gone," Ms. Courtney said. "It's terrible."

BUT even by the sisters' time, the trains were dying. The High Line had been built to last — it can support four fully loaded freight trains — but gradually it was replaced by trucks and an interstate highway system.

One part of the High Line, from Gansevoort Street to its southern terminus, was demolished in sections in 1963 and 1991. The line carried its last load in 1980: three boxcars of frozen turkeys. Then the line just sat. Passers-by ignored the forsaken mass overhead as it slowly went native. The only ones who saw possibilities there were advertisers and graffiti artists. Today, a billboard for the Jennifer Aniston movie "Rumor Has It" hovers over signs for auto repair shops and parking lots.

But seeds drifting through the Manhattan air found a home there, and irises, grape hyacinth and ailanthus trees sprouted. Neighbors helped nature. One resident slid a gangplank out his window and strung Christmas lights on a pine sapling; another planted a clump of daffodil bulbs.

As the High Line becomes something new, it will not entirely lose what it was. The jagged edge of the concrete at Gansevoort Street, for example, will be incorporated into the new entrance. In that way, the park will resemble another local landmark, the Chelsea Market. Now, a visitor there walks past fresh flowers and fresh bread, but at the back, scribbled on the wall, are some mysterious words: "One brick every block, two bricks every block. ..." They are the instructions for mixing mortar, and they testify to a time when the West Side of Manhattan was laying the foundations for an industrial future, and the smell of cookies and the screech of train wheels still filled the Chelsea air.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

infoshare
February 5th, 2006, 09:35 AM
February 5, 2006City LoreBlasts From the PastBy MEERA SUBRAMANIANIF you walk out the back door of the Chelsea Market, housed in the old Nabisco Building, and onto Tenth Avenue, you will be standing in the shadow of history. Any sunlight will be eclipsed by the rusted relic of an improbable railroad track that spans the street 30 feet overhead. While the scent of fresh-baked Oreo cookies and the screech of train brakes have vanished, the massive elevated rail tracks known as the High Line still snake north to the deserted 30th Street Rail Yards and south to Gansevoort Street.


I took "exactly" this walk last weekend, starting at chelsea market walking down to ganseveert street where it starts, then back up to 34th street. This project is going to be veeery interesting to watch.

Despite being a long-long time urban explorer I did not have a clear idea of where it was or where it began/ended.

So if for anyone else who may be interested I will plot the length on the highline on "google earth" ann post the graphics here ASAP.

Thanks again for the link...perfect timing!

(Update) The attached images of the "highline" are arranged in sequence: starting at about 34th Street and ending on West 12th Street.

ManhattanKnight
February 5th, 2006, 06:05 PM
Despite being a long-long time urban explorer I did not have a clear idea of where it was or where it began/ended.


The surviving part of the New York Central High Line is all that remains of three elevated transportation structures that once ran through Chelsea, the Far West Village and points further south, all within the space of two crosstown blocks: the High Line, the Miller Elevated Highway (above West Street), and the Ninth Avenue rapid transit "El" (which ran down the center of Ninth Avenue and Greenwich Street between 155th St. and South Ferry and featured "Swiss chalet"-style stations).

The 9th Ave. El Christopher St. Station, Looking West
(with the High Line and Miller Highway visible in the distance)
http://img93.imageshack.us/img93/7369/1374fi.jpg

krulltime
February 15th, 2006, 10:42 PM
Work to begin on High Line Park in Chelsea this month


http://www.cityrealty.com/graphics/uploads/1139944358_highline1.gif


14-FEB-06

The Friends of the High Line had a public presentation last night of revised plans for the planned elevated park in Chelsea.

The elevated park follows the example of one recently opened in Paris, which is known as the “Promenade Plantée” and St. Louis recently announced that it would also create one.

The design has been inspired by what the architects call the "High Line's melancholic, unruly beauty, in which nature has reclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure" and the project is intended to “create and preserve experiences of slowness, otherworldliness, and distraction.”

The first section of the new High Line Park will be from Ganesvoort Street to 20th Street and it is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2008. “Everything comes out,” Robert Hammond, a co-founder of the Friends of the High Line, which initiated the “unlikely idea” in 1999, explaining that site preparation includes removal of lead paint, repair of concrete, “pidgeon mitigation” and removal of the rails, which will be tagged and many of which will be replaced.

Joshua Laird of the City Planning Department told those in attendance at the Cedar Lake Theater at 527 West 26th Street that funding for the $130-million project will permit work to begin this month. He said that federal and city funds already in place total about $80 million and that the project expects another $20 million from developers who will avail themselves of zoning bonuses provided in the recent Special West Chelsea zoning district that controls development around the elevated train tracks that run from Ganesvoort Street to 30th Street to support its reuse as a public space and to provide opportunities for new residential and commercial development and to enhance the neighborhood’s thriving art gallery district.

Jack Corner of Field Operations, which is designing the park with the architectural firm of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, said that the revised designs are still “a work in progress.” He said that concrete planking will “peel up” for seating, and light will project downward from side railings and the seating.

Rick Scofidio, the architect, told the meeting that glass walls at the High Line’s intersections with cross-streets have been replaced in the plan with suspended, thin, black screens. Graffitists, he noted, now scrawl and scratch glass surfaces, he explained.

The park, Mr. Scofidio said, will have outlooks, sun decks and a wide variety of perennial plantings as well as trellises.

There will be no bikes allowed and access will probably be from sunrise to sunset.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened an exhibition April 30 that ran through October 31 last year and Mr. Hammond said that it hopes to have another exhibition in the Chelsea neighborhood that would be free.

The recently enacted rezoning of the area creates a High Line Transfer Corridor in which owners of property could transfer their development rights to designated receiving sites with the Special District with construction of stair access to the High Line required as a condition of the transfer on some properties.

To create a varied experience along the length of the High Line open spaces, portions of buildings would be required to set back from the High Line while other portions of buildings would be permitted to rise directly adjacent to, and connect with, the High Line

The High Line was built between 1929 and 1934 as part of the West Side Improvement, a transportation project that eliminated street-level rail crossings from the northern tip of Manhattan to Spring Street. The southern section of the line was demolished in the 1960s and the last train on its tracks in the 1980s carried frozen turkeys.


Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY

ablarc
February 17th, 2006, 09:56 AM
Rick Scofidio, the architect, told the meeting that glass walls at the High Line’s intersections with cross-streets have been replaced in the plan with suspended, thin, black screens. Graffitists, he noted, now scrawl and scratch glass surfaces, he explained.
Anyone know how this will look? Wish those damned vandals would lay off and do something constructive.

I suppose we could start by encouraging them less on this website. I'm not talking about the few talented muralists, I'm talking about the guys who are into nothing but destructiveness.

MidtownGuy
February 19th, 2006, 07:23 PM
I was sad to hear of this alteration to the plan- the glass was stunning.

ablarc
February 19th, 2006, 09:19 PM
I was sad to hear of this alteration to the plan- the glass was stunning.
So...it's been pre-vandalized.

Roger37
March 8th, 2006, 05:34 AM
This was in the villager last month. Doesn't lok like anyone posted it here.

Volume 75, Number 39 | February 15 -21 2006
Design details outlined for High Line ‘park in sky’
By Albert Amateau

“This crazy pipe dream is really about to happen,” said New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe on Monday to more than 100 supporters of the elevated park between Gansevoort and 33rd Sts. on the derelict railroad viaduct known as the High Line.

Friends of the High Line, the neighborhood group that initiated the move to save the structure, and the park design team of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro convened the Feb. 13 meeting to present the latest plans for the park’s first section, from Gansevoort to 20th Sts.

With $84.25 million in city and federal funds, “there’s not enough money to build it all but enough to get it started,” said Benepe, adding, “We’re on board in a major way and we [Department of Parks] are the agency that will own the ‘park in the sky.’”

Preparing the southern half of the structure for construction begins this month and will involve tagging and removing railroad tracks and ties (some to be restored to remind park visitors what the structure was built for), removing the gravel ballast, repairing the steel and concrete framework and installing new drainage. Lead-based paint will have to be stripped from the steel structure and anti-pigeon devices will be installed in the yearlong preparation phase, said Benepe.

Construction of the park features, including plantings with vegetation that approximates the grasses, bushes and small trees that were wind sewn over the past 25 years, is to begin in early 2007. If all goes according to plan, the park section from Gansevoort to 20th Sts. will accommodate its first public visitors in 2008, Benepe said.

“It’s still a work in progress and everything is subject to change,” said the team leader, James Corner, of Field Operations. The most complex features and access points will be in the southern half of the project, with a two-level entrance at Gansevoort St., where Dia Foundation for the Arts is planning its new museum building. Stairs and elevators at street level and at the High Line level will provide access to both the museum and the park.

Other major access points will be at 14th St. and at 16th St. at 10th Ave. Safety requires that railings at street crossings be augmented with an iron mesh that would be painted black to minimize any obstruction to the view.

“I never thought I’d say this, but I see my job here is to save the High Line from architecture,” said Rick Scofidio, a principal in the architectural member of the design team. The designers are taking care to make the park design as simple as possible to give visitors a feeling of the stark, almost-surreal landscape of grasses, weeds and small trees that have grown on the structure

At 10th Ave. and 16th St., where the High Line enters the former National Biscuit Company building, now Chelsea Market, the tentative plan provides the possibility for tables and seating. At 18th St., there is a possibility for a plaza of sorts. But the designers said they intended to avoid any commercialization of the “park in the sky.”

The current scenario calls for two alternate paths — a primary one 8-feet wide and a secondary path 3-feet wide — with plantings between them. “We want to blur the distinction between path and plantings,” Corner said.

The paths would have a surface of concrete planks that could “peel up” to form seating.

While city parks generally close no later than 1 a.m., the High Line could have different hours for different areas. At the Gansevoort Market area where nightlife dominates, the elevated park might stay open later, while sections near residential areas might close earlier, Benepe said.

The park would be lighted at night to illuminate the paths but remain dark above waist level so that visitors could enjoy the ambient night lighting of the streets and buildings.

That kind of illumination would make the top of the High Line appear to glow when seen from the street, the designers believe.

The cross streets beneath the High Line would be lighted from the underside of the structure to create an illuminated box.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation is administering construction funds for the project.

Robert Hammond, who founded Friends of the High Line with Joshua David, paid tribute to the support and enthusiasm for the High Line from volunteers and residents.

He also acknowledged that the Bloomberg administration’s support for the High Line was the keystone of the project. “If the city didn’t support us, we wouldn’t be here,” he said.

ablarc
March 8th, 2006, 07:21 AM
Safety requires that railings at street crossings be augmented with an iron mesh that would be painted black to minimize any obstruction to the view.
Hard to visualize this from the verbal description. Is this one of those barriers to keep kids from dropping concrete blocks on passing cars?

Ninjahedge
March 8th, 2006, 08:47 AM
Anyone know how this will look? Wish those damned vandals would lay off and do something constructive.

I suppose we could start by encouraging them less on this website. I'm not talking about the few talented muralists, I'm talking about the guys who are into nothing but destructiveness.


You mean "Taggers".

You know how I stand on that.


The thing I can't get is that they know where they are doing this. Come on over to the dig at Hudson and Houston and look at the painted, and repainted construction barriers. They paint over and within a week, a new set of tags are up.

You would think they would just put a frigging camera up on the top (webcam) and record these guys and arrest them. If there is a serious risk of being caught, fewer will do this.

But no, lets just wait until after it is done and spend more $$ on paint.

As for the park... I am wondering how they will make it feel "open". How will yo uget up and down without having to rely on narrow little stairways and the like? Will they try to construct some scenic ramps on some areas? I hope so!!!

lofter1
March 8th, 2006, 10:05 AM
I have no problem with taggers going to work on plywood construction barriers -- far more interesting than yards of blue paint.

ablarc
March 8th, 2006, 10:49 AM
^ Trouble is, they don't stop at the fringes of blue plywood; since the impulse is fundamentally antisocial, you can't expect them to show such orderly restraint.

Ninjahedge
March 8th, 2006, 11:42 AM
I am still bugged by taggers even on the blue.

I do not, however, mind the guys that actually do something that might be worth keeping. There are a few out there that do some really good stuff, but if all you do is make your name look funkier and funkier, save it for your own back door.


Anyway, back to the question, how do you think it will be accessed and what are your thoughts on that?

nycitylaw
March 10th, 2006, 12:36 PM
CITY PLANNING COMMISSION
FUCA/Text Amendment
West Chelsea,Manhattan

Modifications to High Line, West Chelsea district approved

Boundaries, frontage, easement access and lot coverage modified for High Line and Special West Chelsea district.</I> In June 2005, the City Council approved several applications related to West Chelsea including the establishment of a Special West Chelsea District to support development of the High Line elevated public space, art galleries, marketrate housing, and affordable housing. 2 CityLand 83 (July 15, 2005). Public review of the proposed text amendments identified the need for additional modifications.
On October 27, 2005, the Planning Department filed an application for a Follow-Up Corrective Action, or FUCA, proposing modifications to the text amendments. The proposal clarified the boundaries, lot coverage calculations, and access requirements for the High Line Improvement Area; reduced minimum allowable frontage for development along the High Line; and identified Parks as the agency responsible for High Line maintenance and inspection. The proposal also added anti-harassment provisions similar to those created for the neighboring Special Hudson Yards District. 3 CityLand 5 (Feb. 15, 2006).
The Commission unanimously approved, finding that the application addressed needs identified during the approval process of the prior text amendments.
ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a Notice of Minor Modification. Community Board 4 approved unanimously with the condition that the Planning Department increase the minimum streetwall in certain areas. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields did not submit a recommendation.
CPC: Special West Chelsea FUCA (N 060199 ZRM – text amendment) (February 8, 2006). CITYADMIN

ablarc
March 14th, 2006, 07:13 AM
The proposal also added anti-harassment provisions similar to those created for the neighboring Special Hudson Yards District.
What is this?

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2006, 05:18 PM
What is this?
Anti Harassment violations are handled by HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) - things such as denial of services, intimidation, to get tenants to vacate.

Besides the usual penalties involved, in the case of areas where there are zoning changes, the penalties could extend to loss of the zoning enhancements to the property owner.

Work as actually begun on the High Line. It's true. I have a photo.
http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/8697/highline01c0lz.th.jpg (http://img137.imageshack.us/my.php?image=highline01c0lz.jpg)

infoshare
March 23rd, 2006, 07:02 PM
Work as actually begun on the High Line. It's true. I have a photo.

A couple of nyc bloggers recently took a tour of the highline: they got there only weeks before that bulldozer - this is a good documentation of the final days of the "old" highline. There are many photos to be found at this blogspot; also a link to a flicker photo pool with additonal pic - enjoy.

http://ablogsoup.blogspot.com/2006/02/nyc-highline-photos.html
the flicker photos from same blog - http://flickr.com/photos/ireallylovecake/sets/72057594069275598/

lofter1
March 24th, 2006, 10:50 AM
RESIDENTIAL TOWER for CHELSEA MARKET??

NY Post
http://www.nypost.com/realestate/comm/65742.htm

We think Chelsea Market Tower has a nice ring to it and apparently so do its owners.

Jeff Ackemann of the Atlanta-based Jamestown ownership group says they are starting to explore constructing a residential tower on top of the popular market and office building.

The former Nabisco factory is a conglomeration of structures that comprises the full block between 15th and 16th streets and Ninth and Tenth Avenues - and enjoys marvelous Hudson River views.

Ackemann said the recent High Line rezoning - which did not include their block - became an impetus for them to start discussions with City Planning and various architects and marketers towards building an up to 300,000 foot tower on its roof.
Such a tower could be raised on strong stilts, or rest on one or the other ends of the market, which might mean relocating some tenants, Ackemann noted. "It is important to retain the Chelsea Market culture [within the design and living environment]," Ackemann noted.

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

lofter1
April 6th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Piet Oudolf, the reknowned Dutch garden designer who has done wonders with the gardens at Battery Park, gave a presentation last night (4.5.06) outlining ideas for plantings at the High Line. Despite some technical problems that caused the projector to render all of his plantings in eerie shades of greens, purples and blacks (think Morticia Adams!) Oudolf carried on and was still able to convey the structure of the gardens. The High Line folks promised to post Piet's images on their website so that the colors of the plantings can be seen.

The official Grooundbreaking for the High Line takes place next Monday, April 10:

HIGH LINE GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION - RSVP REQUIRED

FREE

http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/032206/groundbreaking.jpg

The City of New York and Friends of the High Line invite you to celebrate Groundbreaking on Monday, April 10, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 PM. This exciting event will mark the official beginning of the High Line's transformation into public open space. The free, street-level, public celebration will include a light lunch and entertainment. Since Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999, we've used this E-Mail Newsletter to call our supporters to action. We've urged you to write letters, help us raise money, testify at hearings, and volunteer for events. We hope you will now join us to celebrate this dream becoming a reality.

Reservations (http://www.thehighline.org/newsletters/032206.html#story01) are required.

Monday, April 10, 2006
12:00 noon - 1:30 PM

Little West 12th Street between 9th Avenue & Washington Street
Rain or shine

Piet's work at Battery Park:

Gardens of Remembrance

Renowned Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf (http://www.thebattery.org/gardens/piet.html), has designed these gardens, planted on May 8th, 2003, with native grasses and flowering perennials. They embrace the waterfront, are in rhythm with the sea breeze, and delight the eye, while greeting millions of annual visitors to the Battery.



http://www.thebattery.org/images/gardensofrememberance.jpg


The Bosque


http://www.thebattery.org/images/bosque.jpg
The Battery Bosque - 2005


Reconstruction Plan and Funding

Opened in June 2005, The Battery Bosque is a garden-filled oasis at the tip of Manhattan. The Bosque, Spanish for “a grove of trees”, completes the second phase of Piet Oudolf’s horticultural master plan for The Battery. The Bosque features 57,000 square feet of gardens set among 140 mature London plane trees. The Bosque hosts 34,000 perennial plants, two distinctively designed food kiosks (http://www.thebattery.org/rebuilding/completed.html#) and a 40-foot-wide granite spiral fountain. The Conservancy raised $225,000 to fund the Bosque concept design. The realization of this design is funded by an $8.5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

http://www.thebattery.org/slideshows/bosque/images/after_1.jpg

ablarc
April 8th, 2006, 02:35 PM
Beautiful! European quality. If the High Line turns out this well it will be one of the highlights of New York. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

ZippyTheChimp
April 9th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Demolition at Little W12th St, as Spidey looks on.
http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/9002/highline012er.th.jpg (http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=highline012er.jpg)

BigMac
April 10th, 2006, 03:25 PM
Gothamist
April 10, 2006

High Line Construction Officially Begins!

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/jake/2006_4_hlopen1.jpg

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/jake/2006_4_hlopen2.jpg

Even though construction has been quietly progressing for the last month, today was the official groundbreaking for the High Line Park. Just about every local politician was there to make a little speech about the revitalization of the area, including Senators Clinton and Schumer, Mayor Bloomberg, and City Council Speaker Quinn. A requisite smatter of celebrities also showed up-- Barry Diller and his wife Diane Von Furstenberg, Kevin Bacon, and Ed Norton all stood on the dais during the speeches. Everyone was wearing green commemorative hard hats with the Michael Defeo flower on the front. The big moment was a ceremonial "rail lifting"-- although to tell the truth, the machine seemed to be doing most of the work while the politicos stood around for the cameras.

After the official ceremony there was a big party down on Little West 12th-- lots of free food, and some music. Everyone was standing around to get their picture taken with the High Line behind them. There was also a horse, presumably there to commemorate the cowboys that used to ride in front of the trains in olden times. The horse seemed sort of bored, but was allowing people to pet him.

Related: here's Diller Scofidio + Renfro's official rendering of the park as it will look in a few years:

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/jake/%2801%29-Typical-Landscape-View.jpg

Bonus materials:
our pictures from the High Line last week (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2006/04/08/report_from_the.php).
Lockhart's pix from the opening (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lock/sets/72057594103704758/)

Special Contest: the take away prize for the groundbreaking was an honest-to-god rusty spike from the tracks, etched with the words "High Line Groundbreaking." We took one, and want to give it to you! All you have to do is answer the following question: what was the last train to ever run on the High Line carrying? [First correct answer to jake(at)gothamist wins! Tetanus shots are recommended for the winner-- and we'll even throw in the velvet bag that came with the tie!]

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/jake/2006_4_tie1.jpg

&#169; 2003-2005 Gothamist LLC.

lofter1
April 10th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Answer: Frozen Turkeys

(but it doesn't count since I gave it here)

Despite what Curbed claims: Clinton, Schumer, Bloomberg, Quinn, Diller and Von Furstenberg were NOT on the dais during the celebratory speeches at the Groundbreaking Street Party on Little West 12th Street (the others mentioned were there). Looks like the biggies only showed up for the photo-op.

The stars of the day however were Joshua David and Robert Hammond, the founders of Friends of the High Line and the two people most responsible for making this fantastic new park happen. NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe compared the two founders to such illustrious NYC advocates as Jackie Onassis and Jane Jacobs -- and David said afterwards that despite a bit of arguing the two decided that David was most like Jackie and Josh was Jane.

infoshare
April 11th, 2006, 06:58 PM
Demolition at Little W12th St, as Spidey looks on.
http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/9002/highline012er.th.jpg (http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=highline012er.jpg)


Superman? http://www.flickr.com/photos/garvinj/126531247/in/set-72057594103823064/

The blogosphere has got this city covered - twice!
If you look closely, above Kevin Bacons' left sholder.....it Spiderman or is it Superman. Well....I got a chuckle out of it at least!


P.S. On the flicker file....if you put the curser on the spidy figure...there is a rollover animation....have fun.

Kris
April 19th, 2006, 02:30 PM
http://www.businessweek.com/mediacenter/podcasts/innovation/innovation_04_18_06.htm

krulltime
May 1st, 2006, 02:59 AM
New York’s High Line Begins Construction


http://archrecord.construction.com/news/images/060421highline1lg.jpg

http://archrecord.construction.com/news/images/060421highline2lg.jpg

http://archrecord.construction.com/news/images/060421highline3lg.jpg


Alex Ulam
April 21, 2006

On April 10, workers began construction that will result in the conversion of Manhattan’s High Line into a six-acre public park. Trains once used the abandoned rail trestle, which snakes 1.5 miles across city streets, to deliver freight to buildings on the city’s far West Side. The park will occupy the trestle’s elevated rail deck, which rises between 18 and 30 feet above street level. The first section of the park, by the team of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, and is scheduled for completion in Spring 2008.

The High Line’s redevelopment is spurring a construction boom in its surrounding neighborhoods, where prominent architects, including Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Richard Rogers, Annabelle Selldorf, Robert A.M. Stern, Polshek Partnership, and Gwathmey Siegel are designing new buildings.

In addition to the high profile architects, a June 2005 rezoning allowing residential buildings along the High Line from 16th Street to 30th Street is also shaping new buildings. Urban design controls for the area ensure that adequate light and air reach the new-elevated park. And in contrast to other parts of Manhattan, where current zoning generally mandates a continuous street-wall, in the rezoned area abutting the High Line new buildings will be arranged in a staggered fashion. On certain large lots, up to 40 percent of a building’s surface area can rise up next to the High Line.

“Building around the High Line requires architects to be more innovative than in other parts of Manhattan,” says Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission. To preserve open space around the High Line, the new zoning rules permit property owners to sell their development rights to building sites anywhere within the rezoned district. In most areas of Manhattan development rights can be sold to only to adjacent property owners.

Although the High Line is a major impetus for the redevelopment of far West Chelsea, designers and planners say that the preservation and reinterpretation of the structure’s special qualities is key to its success as a park. “We want to make sure that it doesn’t turn into an elevated street,” says James Corner, Director of Field Operations. “Part of the magic of the thing is its complete separation from the city. It is completely severed from everything around it, and that is what makes it an interesting thing to walk on.”


© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lofter1
May 1st, 2006, 09:02 AM
The High Line is a plus / plus / plus project: Great for the developers / great for architects / great for the public (via both the park and the amount of money that will be added to the tax base from new construction).

One downside is that it seems that it will become another Tribeca -- only the filthy rich need apply. Another is the lack of public transporation -- one more indication of the missed opportunity to include light rail along the West Side.

Let's hope that the developers / architects rise to the occasion.

lofter1
May 18th, 2006, 10:19 AM
Local board objects to planned buildling that projects over the High Line

City_Realty (http://www.cityrealty.com/new_developments/news.cr?page=7)
06-APR-06

http://www.cityrealty.com/graphics/V2/new_devs/menu/pixel.gif http://www.cityrealty.com/graphics/uploads/1144349710_23w511c.gif
Lee Compton, the chairman of Board 4, is shown (above)
beneath two renderings of the proposed Naman building
as viewed from the north.

Community Board 4 voted last night to recommend that the City Planning Commission approve applications for waivers for a proposed 12-story building at 511 West 23rd Street only if the design is modified to limit its height to no more than 145 feet and not permit it to encroach into the air space over the High Line.

The planned building, which will have 12 residential condominium apartments, has been designed by Neil Danari for Alf Naman and it partially overhangs with its vertically angled east fa&#231;ade the High Line elevated railway that is being converted to a park.

The building has bold diagonal steel fa&#231;ade accents that some might call of “son of Hearst,” after the diagonal bracing in Sir Norman Foster’s building for the Hearst Corporation nearing completion on West 57th Street.

The Preservation and Planning Committee of the board had voted earlier in the month by a vote of 5 to 4 to support the project in general but expressed “serious concerns about the aspects of the design that will negatively affect the environment of the High Line.”

The proposed development extends through the block to 504-6 West 24th Street and the resolution passed by the board last night noted that the site “offers major problems to a developer” as “The portion of the lot not occupied by the High Line bed is extremely narrow, particularly on the 24th Street side.”

“At 23rd Street, the High Line bed itself widens to the west to include a 20-foot-wide stub of a siding that formerly extended through the property and that still projects five feet from the street into the south side of the site west of the main portion of the bed. These limitations create major difficulties in taking advantage of the floor area theoretically available and especially providing floorplates adequate for the planned upscale condos. The proposed solution is a major residential building of conspicuously contemporary design on the 23rd Street portion of the site, located very close to the High Line bed, rising eight feet higher than the 145-foot- height limit currently in place on the street, and even projecting over the High Line on the upper floors,” the resolution stated.

“On the 23rd Street side the proposed waivers of requirements for streetwalls and setbacks and for non-obstruction over the High Line that are designed to enable the proposed irregular form of the streetwall are actually beneficial. The varied form of the building streetwall will break up the monotony of the 120-foot high wall of new buildings along this block that has been creating by the existing mapping for a rigid contextual form at excessive height in a location where no real context existed. The cutaway form enfolding the stub of the High Line siding here actually responds and calls attention to the presence of this historic feature and does not negatively impact the main bed of the High Line that is the principal function of the prohibition to project. Rather the cutaway form at this point allows light and air onto the main bed.”

“On the eastern side of the building directly adjacent to the main High Line, however,” the resolution continued, “the waivers of requirements for setbacks west of the High Line and for prohibiting obstructions above the High Line will clearly have negative impacts on the experience of the main walkway. The Naman project is immediately to the east of High Line 519, a narrow building now under construction that has been designed by Linda Roy to have cloud-like-form screens on its balconies. Mr. Naman is planning several other projects in the area including a 20-story condominium tower designed by Jean Nouvel on 11th Avenue at 19th Street and a 12-story residential building on the north side of 24th Street west of Tenth Avenue.

Copyright &#169; 1994-2006 CITY REALTY.COM INC (contact@cityrealty.com).
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Ninjahedge
May 18th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Encroachment!

Bad enough that they are building right up against it, coming out over it is pure greed.

ablarc
May 18th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Encroachment!

Bad enough that they are building right up against it, coming out over it is pure greed.
I'm inclined to say: "Nonsense. What harm's in it?"

Now, I would like it to be a better-looking building...

lofter1
May 18th, 2006, 07:51 PM
I'm inclined to say: "Nonsense. What harm's in it?"

Now, I would like it to be a better-looking building...
It isn't their airspace. Not that they are offering to pay 1 cent for it, but just asking for a variance to allow them to encroach over a PUBLIC PARK.

Why is this even worth discussing?

Agreed, though: a better looking building -- encroacher or not -- is in order ...

krulltime
May 18th, 2006, 08:41 PM
I think is looks fine the way is shown. If it didn't have that inclination then it wouldn't be that interesting. Besides is a little inclination... it doesn't do any harm on the park.

ablarc
May 18th, 2006, 10:44 PM
The park actually goes through some buildings. That's a source of delight. The park doesn't harm the buildings and the buildings don't harm the park. The intimacy between the two is novel and gratifying and can be continued as a pattern. Novelty means being different from other places. There are spots where you can climb out your window onto the Highline. That's good, not cause for tut-tutting.

MidtownGuy
May 18th, 2006, 10:55 PM
I agree 100%. The slight overhang engages the highline and it is the best aspect of the design. Too many buildings like this would be oppressive, but a few scattered along that somehow interact with the ribbon is the opposite- it's a good thing. It really would add a lot to the experience of walking along. The angle of the overhang on this one is just right.

Ninjahedge
May 19th, 2006, 08:54 AM
That is existing stuff tho alb, not anything new.

If one developer does something liek this, another will try to do the same, or even more. The people want a park, not a tunnel.

lofter1
May 19th, 2006, 09:22 AM
OK -- for the sake of argument ...

If a private developer should be allowed a variance to build over / encroach upon the air-space of a publicly held park then should not the developer be required, in some form, to purchase those buildable air rights?

What is the value of the newly obtained air-space (as it clearly seems to be a bonus for the proposed building and would be a huge selling point)?

MidtownGuy
May 19th, 2006, 09:48 AM
Things in life don't have to be all or nothing. The artistry of design is sometimes in the grey zone between the two.
OBVIOUSLY no one wants a park with overhangs all the way down, that would be retarded. What's being suggested is that a few would add visual interest and allude to the actual history of the High Line, which in fact goes in, around, and through the buildings along it's length.
A couple of new buildings that continue the trend won't enclose the whole highline or block the sky, the thing is 22 blocks long.

ZippyTheChimp
May 19th, 2006, 10:07 AM
If a private developer should be allowed a variance to build over / encroach upon the air-space of a publicly held park then should not the developer be required, in some form, to purchase those buildable air rights?Yes.

krulltime
May 19th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Balazs's Plans for Hotel on the High Line Draws Fire From Neighborhood


BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
May 18, 2006

Preservationists and neighbors who have seen designs for hotelier Andre Balazs's boutique hotel that will straddle the High Line in the meatpacking district have likened the 25-story glass and white brick tower to something one would find in Miami Beach or Las Vegas.

They are asking Mr. Balazs to scale back the designs - which have been shielded from the public thus far - but the hotelier is saying that it is too late to make changes.

The director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Andrew Berman, and the local restaurant owner Florent Morellet, met with Mr. Balazs last week. Mr. Berman called the designs "nauseating."

"It basically looks like a Las Vegas casino or an Atlantic City hotel dropped into the meatpacking district," Mr. Berman said."The design is about as far from contextual as you could imagine."

Mr. Balazs, calling from Los Angeles, defended the designs that were drawn up by local architect, Polshek Partners. He said that he has met regularly with Mr. Berman and others about the project, and he was surprised at the attacks.

"We can't alter the design. It's in the ground. It is what it is," he said. "I don't know if there is a political agenda here that I'm not aware of."

"There are no surprises in the design," he said. "What we do is contextual projects."

"The Standard, New York" is a 330-room hotel set to open by 2008, according to Mr. Balazs. The hotelier, a regular on Page Six, owns the Mercer Hotel and recently developed a luxury condominium project in the SoHo historical district called 40 Mercer Street. His boutique hotels in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles are popular celebrity hangouts.

The building site near Washington Street and West 13th Street has long served as a battleground between developers and neighborhood groups.

In 2002, developer Stephen Touhey proposed building a 45-story condominium on the site, designed by the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. After outrage by neighborhood activists, including Mr. Berman and Mr. Morellet, Mr. Touhey refashioned his plans into a hotel. After more pressure, he sold out to Mr. Balazs in 2004 for $24 million.

In 2003, the city's Landmarks and Preservation Commission designated a large swath of the low-rise, cobblestoned streets as the Gansevoort historic district. Even though that designation would have prevented Mr. Balazs's current design, the site was excluded from the boundaries.

Mr. Balazs is under no obligation to change the designs because the planned building fits within existing city regulations. He said that he is "sad" about the pace of change in the area, much like the way that most boutiques have vacated SoHo because of its high rents. Mr. Balazs said that that he is heartened by the city's decision to subsidize some of the remaining meatpacking businesses in the area.

Despite the city's historic designation, Mr. Berman says that the meatpacking district is still facing a "host of issues" stemming from a rapid transition, skyrocketing rents, and the city's most crowded nightlife scene.

"There are efforts underway to bring the neighborhood back to a balance, an even keel, to keep it from becoming this B&T nightlife Disneyland," Mr. Berman said."We fear this hotel will only add to this problem."


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

NYatKNIGHT
May 19th, 2006, 11:31 AM
So one new building is to overhang the park, and another is to straddle it? I guess I wouldn't mind a few of these interesting buildings, but too many more and the park begins to lose its above-the-fray appeal and unique skyline views.

MidtownGuy
May 19th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Yup, a finely tuned balance is the way to go.

Clarknt67
May 28th, 2006, 03:50 PM
Things in life don't have to be all or nothing. The artistry of design is sometimes in the grey zone between the two.
OBVIOUSLY no one wants a park with overhangs all the way down, that would be retarded. What's being suggested is that a few would add visual interest and allude to the actual history of the High Line, which in fact goes in, around, and through the buildings along it's length.
A couple of new buildings that continue the trend won't enclose the whole highline or block the sky, the thing is 22 blocks long.

I agree with this. I think the intertwining of existing buildings with the park is part of it's uniqueness and charm. I don't see why judiciously allowing an occaisional new construction that artfully intertwines in a similar matter is so bad.

Surely a mechanism to keep such things in check can be created?

lofter1
May 28th, 2006, 11:06 PM
Enough of the "theoretical"...

First let's establish the value to a developer -- and to the public.

Let's start with the premise that, should a variance be granted, this would be a "few and far between" situation -- and therefore a limited resource -- which would place the price at somewhat of a premium.

Any ideas on $$ a developer should be willing to pay to the public so as to be allowed to create these unique residences?

ablarc
May 28th, 2006, 11:10 PM
Any ideas on $$ a developer should be willing to pay to the public so as to be allowed to create these unique residences?
Subject to negotiation.

MidtownGuy
May 28th, 2006, 11:24 PM
Any ideas on $$ a developer should be willing to pay

Ah:) , the pragmatist/capitalist view asserts its preeminence over aesthetic concerns:D

it's true though, unfortunately , it's all about the benjamins. $$;)

lofter1
May 28th, 2006, 11:56 PM
By not establishing a value of the airspace you play into the hands of the first developer to come along with $$ and the right connections.

My view is that the existing airspace above the highline should be maintained.

ablarc
May 29th, 2006, 07:51 AM
Air rights payments could establish a trust fund to help pay for (high) High Line maintenance.

Clarknt67
May 29th, 2006, 12:14 PM
Good Idea Ablarc. Perhaps some sort of critical mass of building over the Highline could be established? Once it's reached, too bad for everyone else.

pianoman11686
June 3rd, 2006, 10:51 PM
Layout poses challenges to high times by the High Line

Developers raise their horizons by a story or two as plans for elevated park move forward

By Eric Marx

Picture great glass houses in the sky, overlooking a tranquil elevated landscape of wild meadows framed by art deco railings and a multi-textured promenade. This is not a futuristic notion of 21st-century living or an otherworldly dreamscape. Rather, it's a rapidly evolving urban planning initiative called the High Line.

The High Line, the 22-block, long abandoned railroad viaduct built in the 1930s to service the warehouses of the Meatpacking District, is now the centerpiece of city plans to turn the track bed into an elevated public walkway replete with floating gardens, adjustable park benches and communal spaces.

The current cachet of the West Chelsea and Meatpacking District neighborhoods aside, some critics wonder who'll buy a multimillion dollar apartment alongside a train track. Rising 30 feet, or two stories, off the ground, the High Line casts deep shadows and would seem to present formidable obstacles to those wishing to develop ground-floor, second-, and third-floor retail or residential space.

At last count, 25 projects had been announced near the High Line. While a number of these will be laid out in the surrounding neighborhood, some are finding it attractive to build alongside, above and even underneath the High Line itself. "Starchitects" including Frank Gehry, Robert A.M. Stern, and Jean Nouvel are being forced to come up with creative ways to resolve the design challenges.

Some developers have decided to start residential units only above the track level of the High Line and put retail below.

At the southwest corner of 23rd Street and 10th Avenue, developer Leviev Boymelgreen is to break ground next spring on a residential tower with stores at street level. Residences will be kept above track level, and resident service spaces will occupy the areas adjacent to the track, said Boymelgreen project manager Sara Mirski.

The Related Companies' Caledonia residences, located at 10th Avenue between 16th and 17th streets, takes a similar approach -- no residences below the level of the High Line. The project, designed by architect Gary Handel, seeks to fuse glass-curtain architecture and green urbanism.

"We're creating a building where there's a whole experience of living on a park and over a park," said David Wine, vice chairman of the Related Companies.

Indeed, portions of a glass tower will hover above the High Line. An entrance at the third-floor level will directly connect the building onto the park. Frontage along 10th Avenue will include a 30,000-square-foot Equinox sports club; in the lobby and atop three setbacks there will be waterfalls and garden spaces interspersed with an industrial chic reminiscent of the neighborhood's mixed character, Wine said.

Some projects are taking integration with the High Line a step further, with the elevated rail line actually running through the buildings.

The High Line will pass through a Morris Adjmi-designed 15-story hotel developed by Charles Blaichman in partnership with Andre Balazs at the southwest corner of 14th Street and 10th Avenue.

Bruce Sinder of Sinvin Realty said the developer is looking for a flagship retailer to fill the more than 21,000-square-foot multilevel space on the first several floors of the building. The height of ceilings will compensate for any shadows that might result from being located under the High Line, Sinder said.

"It's on the main street of the Meatpacking District and with 23-foot high ceilings there shouldn't be a problem with light affecting the retail presence," Sinder said.

Moreover, the property abuts one of the main street-level High Line entryways, which will provide increased foot traffic, Sinder added.

Other developers, like Alf Naman, a principal of Alf Naman Real Estate Advisors, are counting on the High Line project to draw in creative design ideas that might complement the burgeoning West Chelsea gallery scene.

"There's been some very flat design on 23rd Street with the early buildings from the late '90s not having much character, and so everyone is hoping developers lift up their sites a little bit to inspire more challenging buildings," Naman said.

Naman has plans for four projects and is considering a fifth that abuts the High Line along a narrow parcel at 23rd Street and 10th Avenue. The 12-story tower would cantilever five feet over the High Line and would require a city Planning Commission waiver, according to Ed Kirkland, co-chair of the Chelsea Preservation and Planning Committee of Community Board 4.

Naman's creative impulses are surely at play, but so are the realities of constraints placed upon those vying to build as close to the High Line as possible.

Naman is planning to put in retail under the track level of the High Line for his building, saying it will have "wonderful scale," and said there has been interest from several galleries equally taken with the design aesthetic that might result.

Property owners with lots underneath the High Line can transfer their development rights -- in keeping with the city's rezoning incentive intended to preserve the High Line's open feel -- but there are a number of retail spaces that are attempting to use the High Line as their roof, said a city planning official.

A case in point is the newly opened Morimoto Restaurant at Chelsea Market, where Japanese architect Tadao Ando used the High Line to help create a sub-ceiling of rippled canvas reinforced with fiberglass.

The High Line underpass may indeed help form other impressively high-ceilinged retail spaces, but there is still considerable rehabilitation work to be performed. With $84.25 million in city and federal funds, "there's not enough money to build it all, but enough to get it started," said City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe in an interview with the Villager in February.

Still, major construction began in February and, if all goes according to plan, the park section from Gansevoort to 20th streets will accommodate its first public visitor in 2008.

Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.

Eugenious
June 5th, 2006, 10:57 AM
This is a COLOSSAL waste of money in my opinion. Just demolish this ugliness and rehab the public space along the hudson! Only in NY can nostalgia defeat common sense EVERYTIME.

Ninjahedge
June 5th, 2006, 12:00 PM
Eu, they have rehabbed it.

The problem is, in case you have not noticed, that there IS NOT PUBLIC SPACE along the Hudson that is readily available.

We have that small ribbon running up the side which is nice with all of its rehabbed piers and such, but not much of anything else.

This was a former docks area. They were not thinking of parkland when it was built! Hell, even Battery Park is on landfill I believe!

So this is an opportunity to build something that people want from something that would cost just about as much to carefully demolish and cart away.

Also, with property values increasing near the site and tax bases following suit, this is a money maker for the city.

Add in little things like paid variances as Lofter was mentioning and this could break even or be an asset financially as well as aesthetically.

So long as we do not have Nike swooshes all over the thing or those annoying LED subway billboards I think this will turn out for the best.....



Provided they do not take as much time as they have with putting in those frigging pilasters around GCS!!! ;)

lofter1
June 5th, 2006, 08:16 PM
This is a COLOSSAL waste of money in my opinion.

The transformation of the High Line from derelict rail way to public park has raised property values exponentially all along the Line. As has been pointed out the tax base increase will benefit the City in huge ways. Plus the citizens get a new park.


Just demolish this ugliness ...

Taking public-right-of-ways out of circulation is a HUGE mistake. If they had torn down the HL they would have lost forever the public's right to the use of that property. (And Federal transportation funds would not have been available -- as the available funds are linked to the fact that this was a former rail line.)


Only in NY can nostalgia defeat common sense EVERYTIME.

I don't see much "common sense" in turning public rights-of-way over to private development -- especially when the plan now in effect will generate far greater money for NYC than the one-time sale of the HL right-of-way would have brought in to the City coffers.

Give it 5 years -- what you now think to be "ugliness" will be fantastic.

investordude
July 10th, 2006, 11:51 PM
Is 450 W 14th office portion being built on spec or do they have an achor tenant? Also, what are the rents? I'm curious what new office space near the high line can command in terms of rent since midtown south has little class A space and has become "hot" with companies like Google moving in.

Also curious - if it is being built on spec, if people think Manhattan is getting ready more generally to see a boom in office construction?

Front_Porch
October 23rd, 2006, 04:55 PM
Babysitting a listing that looks out on the High Line . . .do posters here really believe first phase is going to open in Spring 2008, or is that more like a "Second Avenue Subway" kind of date?

ali r.
{downtown broker}

lofter1
October 23rd, 2006, 11:12 PM
The first plantings can't take place before Spring 2007 -- if that happens then there's no reason that it wouldn't be open to some degree one year later.

lofter1
October 24th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Saving flora from where freight cars once rumbled


http://www.thevillager.com/villager_181/seed.gif
Villager photos by Jefferson Siegel
Seed collectors on the High Line, looking north from 27th St.

thevillager.com (http://www.thevillager.com/villager_181/savingflorafromwhere.html)
By Albert Amateau

A perfect October afternoon — no clouds, little wind and cool temperature — brought out about 60 men and women to the still wild north end of the High Line to collect seeds from the wind-sown plants growing on the railroad viaduct for 25 years.

Equipped with clippers and paper bags and led by botanists from the Department of Parks and staff members of Friends of the High Line, the collectors in groups of 10 entered at 34th St. where the rail line dips to street level before it proceeds north below grade.

The High Line’s southern portion — from Gansevoort to 20th Sts. — is in the midst of being transformed into a park-in-the-sky and is stripped down to steel and concrete, so the seed collectors went down only as far as 23rd St.

“I wanted to come here while it’s still wild,” said Tara Giles, of Brooklyn, “to get some before-and-after pictures. I’ll get the ‘after’ pictures when the park opens.” Giles, who works with Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project, has been following the progress of the High Line project for a couple of years, and the fine weather on Oct. 14 brought her to 34th St.


http://www.thevillager.com/villager_181/butterfly.gif
A monarch butterfly alights on some throughwort on the High Line
at 30th St. and 10th Ave.

The south end of the project, with stairs and elevators from the street, footpaths, benches and plantings that approximate the wild growth is expected to be open to the public in the spring of 2008, and the conversion of the north end will follow.

“Plants mature at different times,” Meredith Taylor, Friends of the High Line special events director, told a small group of collectors. “So we’re focusing on four species today. A couple of weeks ago the tall throughwort was at its height and the High Line was full of monarch butterflies that feed on them,” Taylor recalled.

The seeds — 74 species grow on the High Line, 39 of them native to this region — will go to a seed bank at the Department of Parks’ Greenbelt Natural Plant Center on Staten Island. A selection from those seeds will be planted at a Greenstreets space at street level close to the High Line at 14th St. and 10th Ave. as a mirror of the original High Line flora.

“Field Operations, the design team for the project, also hopes that some of these seeds will be planted on the 34th-to-23rd-St. section of the High Line,” said Tim Chambers, director of the Staten Island plant center.

Collectors walking the High Line passed through what appeared to be definite zones of plant life. At 34th St. where the tracks are at sidewalk level, the plant life is lush and includes an apple tree loaded with ripe fruit. The apples looked and tasted like golden delicious and were delicious indeed. Some passerby must have tossed an apple core over the fence several years ago.

Two-foot-tall plants bearing profusions of small white flowers with yellow centers covered one section of the viaduct.

“Asters,” Chambers said. Similar plants bearing small violet flowers with yellow centers — another variety of asters — dominated another stretch.

Then came a patch of plants with spikes of waxy green pods.

“Primrose,” said Paula de la Cruz, a volunteer with Friends of the High Line who lives in the East Village and operates her own landscape consulting firm, Allscape Design.

“Primrose is rich in omega fatty acids and it’s used in supplements — good for vitamin E deficiency — definitely in the U.S.F.D.A. list,” said de la Cruz, who worked for Millennium Seed Bank in Britain in 2004. “We collected seeds in Africa — in Namibia — for three months. We slept on the banks of a river. Our truck fell into a hole. It was fun but very hard work,” she recalled.

Terry Cullimore, a Penn South resident, who was active in the successful two-year fight against the proposed Jets Stadium over the 30th St. rail yards, recalled that she had been on the High Line on a tour about a year ago.

“But this is different. This is doing something — collecting seeds so that future generations can see what we see,” she added.

One patch of the High Line at about 28th St. had trees 3 feet to 4 feet tall — silver maple saplings, small elms.

“They grow here where the buildings provide shade and trap moisture,” Chambers noted. Ailanthus, an import many years ago from China commonly known as “the tree of heaven,” which grows all over the city, is also a High Line species.

“We don’t need to seed bank ailanthus,” Chambers said.

Jan Levy, an Upper West Side resident and former member of Community Board 7, remembered that the late Peter Obletz, who died about 11 years ago, controlled the High Line for a while in the 1980s after paying Conrail a token $10. Obletz, who once lived in a railroad car in the 30th St. rail yards, organized The West Side Rail Foundation to preserve the elevated structure, completed in 1933 by the New York Central Railroad. The viaduct last carried a trainload of frozen turkeys to the Gansevoort Meat Market in 1980.

“Peter’s idea was that the High Line could be used to haul construction debris out of Manhattan,” Levy said. “If it weren’t for Peter, we wouldn’t be standing her now. I want to get Friends of the High Line to name at least part of the High Line for him,” she said.

The Bloomberg administration decided in 2002 to save the High Line. The city acquired ownership of most of the line from the last owner, CSX, in 2005 when the line was designated as part of the federal Rails to Trails program. However, CSX still owns the stretch from 34th St. to 30th Sts. that sweeps around the rail yards, as well as the spur that goes to the east to the Morgan Post Office Annex.

“The trail designation goes all the way to 34th St., but the city was hesitant about taking that stretch because there were still uncertainties about the park,” Meredith said. “We’re pretty secure now and we’re working with CSX on the change. CSX wants to give it up and the process is going pretty well.”

&#169; 2006 Community Media, LLC

Kris
October 25th, 2006, 04:05 AM
October 25, 2006
Dia Art Foundation Abandons Plans for a Museum at High Line
By CAROL VOGEL

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/10/25/arts/25muse_CA0.650.jpg
A rendering of the preliminary design for the High Line.

With no director and a board in flux, the Dia Art Foundation has scrapped its plans to open a museum at the entrance to the High Line, an abandoned elevated railway line in Manhattan. The area, running from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, is to become a park with the help of city money.

Nathalie de Gunzburg, Dia’s new board chairwoman, informed the city of the decision yesterday in a letter to Kate D. Levin, New York’s cultural affairs commissioner. “Dia’s board has decided that the organization should take a different course at this time,” she said.

Reached by telephone, Ms. Levin said that other cultural organizations had approached the city about the High Line site, but she declined to specify which ones.

Officials familiar with the High Line discussions said that the Whitney Museum of American Art had emerged as a high-profile contender.

Trustees at the Whitney are mulling whether to proceed with an addition designed by the architect Renzo Piano, those officials said. That plan calls for a series of glass bridges to connect the museum’s original 1966 Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street to a new nine-story tower. The officials said they did not want to be quoted for fear of being perceived as pre-empting a decision by the Whitney board.

Asked whether the Whitney was considering backing out of the Piano expansion in favor of a site at the High Line, a museum spokeswoman, Jan Rothschild, said yesterday, “The Whitney is keeping its expansion options open,” adding, “We are considering several sites for additional space and have had discussions with the city about the Gansevoort/Washington site.”

She declined to comment further, but the site abandoned by Dia is at 820 Washington Street, at Gansevoort.

Amid sharply escalating construction costs, the Whitney trustees are said to be reconsidering whether, after having to raise several hundred million dollars, the museum will end up getting the kind of space it needs.

Officials familiar with the talks said Whitney trustees and staff members were discussing the possibility of opening a more modest satellite museum downtown, where the Whitney could have larger-scale spaces for cutting-edge artworks as well as attract the young, hip audience who frequents the art and nightclub scene. They emphasized that the talks were preliminary.

Were the museum to back out of the Piano addition, it would be the third time that it has commissioned a celebrity architect to design a major expansion to its landmark building, only to renege. A $37 million design by Michael Graves was jettisoned in 1985; in 2003 the Whitney backed out of a $200 million addition by Rem Koolhaas.

Mr. Piano’s project met with heated challenges from preservationists who said a brownstone facade on Madison, part of the Upper East Side Historic District, would be eliminated to make way for the new entrance.

The architect narrowed the entry, and after a series of hearings, his plan was approved by the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals in July.

Ms. de Gunzburg stressed that Dia, which now operates an exhibition site along the Hudson River in Beacon, N.Y., is still committed to seeking a presence in the city.

But the first priority, she said, is hiring a successor to Michael Govan, who resigned in February after 12 years as Dia’s director to run the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“It was a hard decision to make,” she said in a telephone interview yesterday. “But we felt it is more responsible to proceed slowly. We need to find a new director first.”

Ms. Levin said the city was disappointed that the Dia Foundation was not pursuing the High Line project, on which ground was broken in April. Nonetheless, “they deserve a huge amount of credit for having the idea,” she said. “We think it’s a fabulous complement to have a cultural organization at the entrance to the High Line.”

The first phase, set to open in spring 2008, will run from Gansevoort Street through 20th Street. For now, 820 Washington Street is an abandoned shell of a structure in the heart of the meatpacking district.

That the High Line should have a cultural anchor was originally the brainstorm of Mr. Govan, Dia’s longtime director. In May 2005 he announced Dia’s intentions to move to Washington Street from its two spaces on West 22nd Street in Chelsea. (One is now sitting empty; the other has been rented.)

At the time, he said Dia’s board envisioned transforming the building into 45,000 square feet of raw, open gallery space on two levels, illuminated by skylights. He estimated the cost at about $55 million.

He said its Chelsea spaces were awkward and could no longer accommodate the crowds.

The space Mr. Govan had envisioned on Washington Street would have been a place for temporary exhibitions like the ones it had in Chelsea. Dia’s permanent collection, about 700 works by artists who emerged in the 1960’s and 70’s, is housed in Dia:Beacon, a $50 million museum that opened in May 2003 in an abandoned 1929 box factory.

Laura Raicovich, Dia’s deputy director, said attendance was running about 75,000 a year at the Beacon site, in line with the original projection.

In addition to its Beacon home, Dia oversees several site-specific art installations, including three works by Walter De Maria: “New York Earth Room” and “Broken Kilometer,” both in Manhattan, and “The Lightning Field,” in New Mexico; and the Dan Flavin Institute in Bridgehampton, N.Y.

The loss of Mr. Govan was not the only setback at Dia this year. Leonard Riggio, one of the institution’s biggest benefactors, who gave $30 million toward Dia:Beacon, stepped down as chairman in May. Last week he resigned from Dia’s board.

Mr. Riggio was replaced by Ms. de Gunzburg, a Manhattan philanthropist and collector who has been on Dia’s board for more than two years and headed its committee on trustees.

Ms. de Gunzburg and Ms. Raicovich declined to say whether there were any front-runners for the director’s post. But people familiar with the search say that one name that has repeatedly surfaced is that of Mark Bessire, director of the Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Me.

“We’re hoping to have a new director within the next two months,” Ms. Raicovich said. “But as of now, no offer has been extended to anyone.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

BigMac
October 26th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Gothamist
October 26, 2006

Pigeons Are Disturbing High Line Development

By Jill Priluck

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/jen/2006_10_highline2.JPG

High Line photos aren't exactly rare, but, since we happened to be on a nearby roof recently (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2006/10/20/outside_dvf_hq.php), we took a few.

It looks like we were onto something. According to Katie Lorah, media and project manager for Friends of the High Line (http://www.thehighline.org/), a new construction phase has begun. Deterring birds is one aspect of it: Pigeons are roosting in the beams, damaging concrete and steel and creating "unpleasant" conditions below. To read about the new phase, called "Site Preparation," check out this week's newsletter (http://www.thehighline.org/newsletters/102506.html#story04).

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/jen/2006_10_highline3.JPG

And the mess under the High Line is the footprint for Andre Balazs' new hotel, The Standard, which will jut through the elevated park.

For even more more photos, go to the Friends of the High Line gallery (http://www.thehighline.org/gallery/construction). And the FHL also has a mobile walking tour that you can take (PDF of map and instructions (http://www.thehighline.org/pdf/ohny_phone_tour_2006.pdf)).

2003-2006 Gothamist LLC.

Strattonport
October 27th, 2006, 09:56 AM
High Line Construction photos (http://www.thehighline.org/gallery/construction)

http://www.thehighline.org/albums/construction/IMG_0168.sized.jpg

http://www.thehighline.org/albums/construction/IMG_0872.sized.jpg

http://www.thehighline.org/albums/construction/IMG_1730.sized.jpg

wonder
October 27th, 2006, 10:30 AM
High Line Construction photos (http://www.thehighline.org/gallery/construction)


http://www.thehighline.org/albums/construction/IMG_1730.sized.jpg


What is the name of the blue building in the background. If I am looking at it correctly it is quite unique. There is something, I don't know what, that I really love about it.

BPC
October 27th, 2006, 02:42 PM
No one on this message board knows anything about that building.

daver
October 27th, 2006, 03:00 PM
What is the name of the blue building in the background. If I am looking at it correctly it is quite unique. There is something, I don't know what, that I really love about it.
http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4131
http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=126131&postcount=392

ablarc
October 30th, 2006, 06:50 PM
What is the name of the blue building in the background. If I am looking at it correctly it is quite unique. There is something, I don't know what, that I really love about it.
Hope we didn't drive you away, wonder. To New Yorkers that's a famous building by Frank Gehry. Really works its magic, eh? Where are you located?

lofter1
October 30th, 2006, 07:16 PM
Dia Art Foundation Abandons Plans for a Museum at High Line

... Officials familiar with the High Line discussions said that the Whitney Museum of American Art had emerged as a high-profile contender.

Whitney Museum May Move Expansion to Downtown Site


nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/arts/design/31whit.html?hp&ex=1162270800&en=a0f7b605e03f7619&ei=5094&partner=homepage)
By ROBIN POGREBIN
October 31, 2006


The Whitney Museum of American Art, after fighting for more than a year to have an addition to its Madison Avenue building approved, has all but decided that moving its expansion to another site would make more sense, people involved in the process say.


The museum won its struggle to have the city approve a tower designed by the architect Renzo Piano. But after weighing the pros and cons, those familiar with the process say, the Whitney has determined that the Piano project may not get the museum sufficient additional space for the money.


The museum has instead set its sights on a location downtown at the entrance to the High Line, an abandoned elevated railway that is to become a landscaped esplanade. The Dia Art Foundation announced last week that it no longer planned to build a museum there.


This marks a striking turn of events for the Whitney, since the museum has tried for 20 years to add onto its 1966 Marcel Breuer building. In July the museum finally completed the public approvals process and was allowed to go forward.


Leonard A. Lauder, the Whitney’s chairman, declined to be interviewed. “Our responsibility is to ensure the long term programmatic and financial health of the Whitney,” said Jan Rothschild, a museum spokeswoman. “It would be easy to forge ahead with the expansion on Madison Avenue. We have received the necessary approvals from the city, and our fund-raising is going extremely well, but we want to make sure it is the best option for the program and collection of the museum before moving forward.”


Board members are reluctant to discuss the High Line possibility, out of concern about offending the political officials whose support they will need to secure the site, those involved in the project say. Others spoke on condition of anonymity because the board had yet to vote on abandoning the Piano plan.


The board members are coming off a bruising battle with Upper East Side residents and preservationists over the Piano addition. The architect produced many drafts of his design for the tower, which would have been in a designated historic district, after the Landmarks Commission insisted that he halve the width of a new Madison Avenue entrance to preserve a historic brownstone.


In pricing out the cost of building a nine-story tower behind a row of historic brownstones, which would connect to the Breuer building through a series of glass bridges, the Whitney realized that the addition would add 16,000 to 20,000 square feet of exhibition space, when it had wanted 30,000.


Construction costs have skyrocketed since the museum started planning for Mr. Piano’s addition, now estimated at $200 million, which — with an endowment drive — would bring the fund-raising goal to $500 million. The excavation would have to be done from behind the brownstones, an expensive and logistically challenging proposition. By contrast, the excavation involved in renovating the Morgan Library and Museum — also designed by Mr. Piano — was done from the street.


Building at the downtown site would allow the Whitney to keep operating at its uptown location throughout the construction. To build the Piano addition, it would have been forced to close for two years, losing its presence at precisely the time that the New Museum of Contemporary Art was reopening in its new building on the Bowery.


The museum could sell the historic brownstones and use the proceeds toward constructing a building downtown. And the city might contribute funds for a downtown Whitney because it owns the site and has an interest in anchoring the High Line with a cultural attraction. The city had committed $8 million to the Dia project.


Dia had envisioned a two-story structure with 45,000 square feet of gallery space over two floors at a cost of $55 million, although the Whitney is expected to build something very different if it goes there.


Many arts professionals in the city are asking why the Whitney is considering other options after spending so much time, effort and money fighting for the Piano expansion.


This is not the first time the Whitney’s expansion plans have foundered. The board scrapped a $37 million design by Michael Graves in 1985 and a $200 million design by Rem Koolhaas in 2003.


Its institutional reputation too has encountered rough spots. Adam D. Weinberg was hired as the Whitney’s director in 2003, the third in six years.


Two museum board members resigned in the aftermath of controversy, including L. Dennis Kozlowski, who was convicted of looting Tyco of $150 million, and Jean-Marie Messier, who resigned as chief executive of Vivendi Universal because of the company’s poor performance.


Other museums in Manhattan, meanwhile, have been in the spotlight with successful expansions, like the Museum of Modern Art’s new $858 million building and the New Museum’s current $50 million construction project.


If expansion is a way for the Whitney to reinvent itself and remain competitive, this recent turnaround, viewed in another light, could be seen as realistic and responsible.


As museums across the country build additions by celebrity architects, many are now struggling with the larger operating budgets that accompany expansion. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, for example, recently decided against excavating under its garden courtyard to create new space and will instead pursue a more modest expansion.


Speaking of the Whitney, Kate D. Levin, the city’s cultural affairs commissioner, said, “It is highly responsible to take stock of whether this is the right step for them, given what they found out about what the building would look like and what it would cost.” At the High Line site, at 820 Washington Street, at Gansevoort Street, the Whitney could establish the downtown outpost that many in the art world have long said the museum should have, a hip, more youthful presence suitable to its mission as the artists’ museum.


Now the Upper East Siders who vehemently opposed the expansion in their neighborhood are celebrating. In an e-mail message last week to fellow members of the Coalition of Concerned Whitney Neighbors, Edward Klimerman wrote, “Hope springs eternal.”


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

ablarc
October 30th, 2006, 07:37 PM
Thank the NIMBYs.

pianoman11686
October 30th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Now the Upper East Siders who vehemently opposed the expansion in their neighborhood are celebrating. In an e-mail message last week to fellow members of the Coalition of Concerned Whitney Neighbors, Edward Klimerman wrote, “Hope springs eternal.”

To all those who are currently siding with the NIMBY's over the proposed Foster tower at 980 Madison, this is even more evidence that function could hardly make a difference towards getting a project approved. Private or public, these NIMBY's view a project in the same narrow-minded way: how high is it, and how un-historic does it look?

lofter1
October 30th, 2006, 08:49 PM
Thank the NIMBYs.
This is really more about 2 things :

1) Cost -- see the article.

2) Demographics -- hate to say it, but nowadays Madison Avenue is perceived as where people go to die -- 40 years ago when the Whitney was planned / went up that area was a hot bed of money & creativity, but no more. The Meatpacking District is perceived as young and happening -- something the Whitney desperately needs to hook into if it is going to survive in coming generations.

ablarc
October 31st, 2006, 07:55 AM
This is really more about 2 things :
1) Cost.
The NIMBYs helped make it expensive with delays and lawsuits. Construction costs are rising at 2% per month, and lawyers don't work for peanuts. (Doesn't help that their architect spends money without much to show for it.)


2) Demographics -- hate to say it, but nowadays Madison Avenue is perceived as where people go to die -- 40 years ago when the Whitney was planned / went up that area was a hot bed of money & creativity, but no more. The Meatpacking District is perceived as young and happening -- something the Whitney desperately needs to hook into if it is going to survive in coming generations.
As you point out, the Meatpacking District is doing fine on the cutting edge. Madison Avenue could use a shot in the arm by just this kind of revitalization.

lofter1
October 31st, 2006, 08:59 AM
Moderators: It seems that this thread and the one entitled Highline Area Development (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10006&highlight=highline) are now covering the same territory --

Should they be combined into one thread?

Kris
October 31st, 2006, 01:32 PM
A merger would make the resulting single thread confusing due to the inevitable mixed posts.

It's useful to distinguish between the High Line park and cultural facilities and the residential development in the area.

Kris
November 13th, 2006, 01:25 PM
http://www.archpaper.com/images/news/2006_1110_Dia.jpg
Dia's now-defunct design by SOM

While construction on the Meatpacking site had yet to begin, Dia had been working with Roger Duffy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on the design of the 92,600-square-foot location. “It would have been a perfect project for the city,” Duffy said. “We worked closely with Ricardo Scofidio and James Corner [the masterplanners of the High Line] to make sure that the projects would interface well. I am a huge fan of Dia, and anyone who thinks highly of them is disappointed by the news.

“The site wasn’t entirely easy,” he continued. “There are meat lockers close by, and the maintenance and administration areas for the High Line—and public bathrooms—had to be in the building. But we managed an elegant solution. Maybe a wiser person would have seen the writing on the wall when Michael left.”

http://www.archpaper.com/news/2006_1113.htm

lofter1
November 21st, 2006, 06:49 PM
WATCH HIGH LINE VIDEO BY GOOD MAGAZINE

http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/112106/goodmag.jpg (http://eclipse.sparklist.com/t/2867585/9589180/507/0/)

The High Line was featured in the first issue of GOOD Magazine (http://eclipse.sparklist.com/t/2867585/9589180/508/0/), a new publication highlighting creative social and environmental activism. This four-and-a-half-minute corresponding video piece features High Line supporter Edward Norton and FHL Co-Founder Joshua David walking on the High Line.

Watch the Video (http://eclipse.sparklist.com/t/2867585/9589180/507/0/)

***
The High Line

goodmagazine.com (http://www.goodmagazine.com/issue001/Public_Domain)

http://www.goodmagazine.com/issue001/images/article_public_domain_5.jpg

Location: Manhattan, New York
Designer: Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Previous Use: Industrial railroad
Size: 7 acres
Budget: $60 million
Financing: Public and private
Completion: 2008

Imagine: you step off the cobblestone streets of Manhattan's Meatpacking District and ascend a flight of shallow stairs. You pass between the heavy steel girders of an old elevated train structure and emerge to the sky and a thin, one-and-a-half-mile-long park thirty feet above the city. That park, the High Line, began as the dream of a small nonprofit organization, Friends of the High Line. It captured the public imagination through a well-publicized design competition, and will materialize by 2008.

The High Line was originally an elevated railroad built in 1929 to lift the industrial infrastructure of New York's waterfront above street level and to separate networks of trains from networks of pedestrians. But in 1980 the trains stopped and the High Line was locked.

It became the kind of legendary place you had to sneak into from the rooftop of a Chelsea art party—a forbidden world of weeds and graffiti. It was beautiful but unseen, private but floating just above the public streets.

A few months ago, construction began on the new park version of the High Line, and it seems as though some of that wild urban atmosphere may endure. Following the slogan “Keep it,” the design will build off of the existing train structure, weaving in strands of wilderness and wood decking. Though the park is long and narrow, strategic variation of vegetation will allow you to get lost in it. And the project incorporates new technologies and materials, including the use of a recently invented transparent concrete, as well as lamps designed to reduce light pollution in the night sky. Sustainable features include new plantings of native species and tanks to store water runoff for irrigation.

As you might expect, developers of adjacent real estate see dollar signs. Plans are being made for a new Dia Museum with an entry via the park. Nearby, hotelier Andre Balazs is building The Standard, New York, as well as converting an existing structure bisected by the High Line into another boutique hotel. But while fast-paced, high-end residents may come, the High Line will stake a claim in the city for a slowed-down, organic world. The designers insist, “The landscape should demonstrate the power of nature to take hold in manmade settings.”

ZippyTheChimp
November 21st, 2006, 09:10 PM
Painting the High Line

http://img93.imageshack.us/img93/9783/highline01cpj4.th.jpg (http://img93.imageshack.us/my.php?image=highline01cpj4.jpg)

ZippyTheChimp
November 28th, 2006, 08:57 PM
November 28, 2006

Whitney’s Expansion Plans Are Shifting South, to the Meatpacking District

By CAROL VOGEL

A month after the Dia Art Foundation scrapped its plans to open a museum at the entrance to the High Line, the abandoned elevated railway line that the city is transforming into a public park, the Whitney Museum of American Art has signed on to take its place and build a satellite institution of its own downtown.

The Whitney recently reached a conditional agreement on Wednesday night with the city’s Economic Development Corporation to buy the city-owned site, at Gansevoort and Washington streets, officials at the museum said yesterday. Plans call for the new museum to be at least twice the size of the Whitney’s home on Madison Avenue at 75th Street, they said, and to be finished within the next five years.

The deal, which has still to go through a public review process before it is final, puts an end to the Whitney’s plan to for a nine-story addition by the architect Renzo Piano that would connect to the museum’s original 1966 Marcel Breuer building via a series of glass bridges. It will be the third time in 11 years that the museum has commissioned a celebrity architect to design a major expansion to its landmark building, only to pull out.

“This is a more prudent step to take,” Leonard A. Lauder, chairman of the Whitney’s board, said by telephone yesterday. “Yet it is an adventurous step. We think the new site will have a big enough impact so that it will become a destination.”

The museum’s director, Adam D. Weinberg, said the new museum would not only offer more gallery space but would also be less expensive. “We know it will be cheaper per square foot than uptown, but we don’t know what it will cost,” he said. (The uptown expansion was expected to cost more than $200 million.) Mr. Piano has agreed to design the new museum. Although no architectural plans have been drawn up, the future museum is loosely estimated to afford at least 200,000 square feet.

Kate D. Levin, the city’s cultural affairs commissioner, called the agreement “a wonderful moment” but cautioned, “It is a preliminary moment.” If all goes as planned, she said, “it will let a museum grow and flourish” as well as provide an anchor to the city’s High Line project.

In addition to attracting a broader audience, having a site downtown will allow the museum space to build larger galleries without the constraints of building in a historic district. Sweeping galleries are generally needed to show much of the latest art being produced today.

Compared with around 65,000 square feet of gallery space in the uptown Piano addition, the High Line site will have about 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of gallery space, Mr. Weinberg said. The current Breuer building has some 30,000 square feet.

Mr. Lauder said: “The key word here is footprint. We will be able to stage shows horizontally rather than vertically.” Previous uptown expansions jettisoned by the Whitney include a $37 million addition by Michael Graves canceled in 1985 and a $200 million design by Rem Koolhaas scrapped in 2003.

Mr. Piano’s project met with heated opposition from preservationists who objected to the elimination of brownstone facades on Madison Avenue, part of the Upper East Side Historic District. After the Whitney agreed to maintain that facade, the project was approved in July by the city’s Board of Standards.

In addition to a second site the Whitney is also planning to upgrade the Breuer building significantly, with improvements like new, double-glazed windows and a better climate control system, Mr. Lauder said.

“The Breuer building is now 40 years old, and a lot of technology has happened since it was built,” Mr. Lauder said. “It is our iconic building, and we are planning to put a lot of money into it.” While he said it was too early to say just how much “a lot” is, he estimated the cost of refurbishing the building at $20 million to $40 million.

While taking note of the creation of dual-site museums like the Tate in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Mr. Weinberg said the Whitney was hoping to invent a model of its own. “We are envisioning both sites will show contemporary and historic art,” he said.

The Whitney will continue to devote itself to American art, he said, but “it will be American art in the broadest sense seen within an international context.” In addition to providing room to spread out, he added, the downtown space will allow the museum to keep adding to its collection.

Mr. Weinberg said the museum intended to strengthen its performing arts, education and film programs, which will all be based downtown.

While Dia had planned to lease the downtown site from the city, the Whitney’s deal calls for buying 820 Washington Street and 555 West Street, abandoned shell structures adjacent to each another. The city will charge the Whitney roughly half the appraised value of the two buildings, said Jan Rothschild, a spokeswoman for the Whitney.

“We like the character and the grittiness of the neighborhood,” Mr. Weinberg said of the meatpacking district. “We want to keep the museum as low as possible.” Plans call for about 15,000 square feet of meat market space as well as offices for the High Line in the complex.

Rather than dwell on the death blow to the Piano addition, Whitney officials sought to portray the move as a homecoming of sorts. The institution, which began in Greenwich Village in 1918 as the Whitney Studio Club, became the Whitney Museum in 1931.

“We’re returning to our roots,” Mr. Weinberg said. “So much of the first half of our collection was made around 14th Street and below, and so many artists whose works we have live within a 20-block radius. We see this as reconnecting with the artists’ community.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

antinimby
November 28th, 2006, 09:02 PM
“We want to keep the museum as low as possible.”Why low as possible?
Fear of the neighbors already, even before they begin?

lofter1
November 28th, 2006, 10:30 PM
The buildings on that location are low to begin with and there are vistas from the High Line -- no need to build up high in that area (plenty of that going on at the neighboring blocks).

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/11/28/arts/1128-cul-webWHITNEYmap.gif
The New York Times
Whitney Museum is planning
a branch at the High Line park.

pianoman11686
November 29th, 2006, 12:08 AM
Why low as possible?
Fear of the neighbors already, even before they begin?

No, I think that's because of the "horizontal art" for which they so desperately need large floorplates to display. That was part of the problem with Piano's expansion on the Upper East Side - lots of vertical space, but small floorplans.

ablarc
November 29th, 2006, 08:28 AM
No, I think that's because of the "horizontal art" for which they so desperately need large floorplates to display.
Bigger is better?

Is gigantic art here to stay?

I guess when you don't have to consider every brushstroke you can cover larger areas.

(Vermeer could never have made it as a modern artist. ;))

antinimby
November 29th, 2006, 09:31 PM
No, I think that's because of the "horizontal art" for which they so desperately need large floorplates to display. That was part of the problem with Piano's expansion on the Upper East Side - lots of vertical space, but small floorplans.That could be another reason, although if one reads within the context of that paragraph, you can sense a hint of worry over the potential community resistance to their plans, whatever it maybe.


“We like the character and the grittiness of the neighborhood,” Mr. Weinberg said of the meatpacking district. “We want to keep the museum as low as possible.” Plans call for about 15,000 square feet of meat market space as well as offices for the High Line in the complex.

pianoman11686
November 29th, 2006, 09:45 PM
In addition to attracting a broader audience, having a site downtown will allow the museum space to build larger galleries without the constraints of building in a historic district. Sweeping galleries are generally needed to show much of the latest art being produced today.

Compared with around 65,000 square feet of gallery space in the uptown Piano addition, the High Line site will have about 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of gallery space, Mr. Weinberg said. The current Breuer building has some 30,000 square feet.

Mr. Lauder said: “The key word here is footprint. We will be able to stage shows horizontally rather than vertically.” Previous uptown expansions jettisoned by the Whitney include a $37 million addition by Michael Graves canceled in 1985 and a $200 million design by Rem Koolhaas scrapped in 2003..

ZippyTheChimp
November 29th, 2006, 09:46 PM
.
Mr. Lauder said: “The key word here is footprint. We will be able to stage shows horizontally rather than vertically.”

pianoman11686
November 30th, 2006, 03:16 PM
ARTS & LEISURELY: WHITNEY SLOW TO GO DOWNTOWN

By LUKAS I. ALPERT

November 30, 2006 -- A groundbreaking ceremony for the Whitney Museum's stunning proposed expansion into the Meatpacking District won't likely happen anytime soon, museum officials said, because the plan now faces a lengthy public approval process.

"It's a huge process and not a short process," said the museum's spokeswoman, Jan Rothschild. "The next step is we have to go to the community board, and then there is a review by the borough president, followed by the city Planning Commission and the City Council.

"We are not going to break ground for a while."

The proposed expansion came to light Monday, when the Whitney announced it had entered into a conditional agreement with the city to purchase a section of the abandoned High Line elevated railway at Washington and West streets and build a 200,000-square- foot satellite museum there.

The move came following the withdrawal of a plan last month for the Dia Art Foundation to open a center there. Whitney Museum officials said the details of what the proposed expansion might look like are not clear.

The proposed deal scuttles the Madison Avenue museum's expansion into a neighboring building, which was designed by architect Renzo Piano - a plan that met with opposition from neighbors.

Piano will be retained to design the downtown structure.

lukas.alpert@nypost.com

Copyright 2006NYP Holdings, Inc.

MidtownGuy
November 30th, 2006, 08:30 PM
Great that Whitney is joining the list of High Line developments, but I was wishing they'd get someone else to design this time. I hope Piano can muster something out of the BOX.

antinimby
November 30th, 2006, 08:38 PM
But something out of the BOX might not go too well with the folks in that area.

You know, the contextual thing.

antinimby
November 30th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Actually on second thought, I might be too hard on these folks seeing Gehry's IAC was allowed.

I take that back.

TimmyG
December 8th, 2006, 10:00 AM
from www.nypost.com
RAIL SHOT AT PROSPERITY
HIGH LINE PLAN A $174M BOOST

By TOM TOPOUSIShttp://www.nypost.com/img/newsart/article_storybottom.gif

December 8, 2006 -- The future of the far West Side could get a big boost from an aging rail trestle that has already lifted the fortunes - and the property values - of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.
Friends of the High Line last night unveiled a study that claims using the steel trestle's northern section in a proposed redevelopment of the West Side rail yards would generate an extra $174 million for the city and MTA.
"There's a possibility it could be torn down by the redevelopment of the yards," said Joshua David, co-founder of the group, which successfully saved the southern section of the rail trestle running from 30th Street to Gansevoort Street. It will be converted into a park.
A section of the elevated structure north of 30th Street is not part of any preservation plan, he said. The unprotected section of trestle runs along West 30th Street, from 10th to 12th Avenues, and north on 12th Avenue to 34th Street.
Rather than tearing down the trestle, Robert Hammond, also a co-founder of Friends of the High Line, said saving the structure could link all the ambitious projects slated for the far West Side district now called the Hudson Yards.

lofter1
December 8th, 2006, 10:54 AM
I went to the "Friends of the High Line" (FOTHL) forum on this ^^^ last night ...

1/3 of the High Line -- the semi-circular portion above 29th Street that wraps around the rail yards and runs along the West Side Hiway -- are not currently part of the High Line park. That portion is still owned by CVX and controlled by the MTA.

MTA has ideas to either tear down that portion, and possibly "reconstruct" or build a "faux" High Line in it's place -- or maybe just get rid of it all together.

Major decsions on the future of this portion of the High Line will be made within the next 4 months.

It is the position of the FOTHL (based on studies showing that the presence of the High Line has greatly enhanced the value of the properties which abut the High Line) theat the wisest and ONLY good option is to maintain the exisitng High Line and work the structure into development plans for that area.

At the forum FOTHL presented renderings showing some ideas / possibilities as to how the area could look in the future. Very cool.

I'll post more here as things get posted on the High Line website.

This stretch than runs parallel with 30th Street (from West Street to 10th Avenue) is one of the endangered sections:

http://www.thehighline.org/img/banner2.jpg

From the website: http://www.thehighline.org/newsletters/112106.html#story01

DECEMBER 7: PUBLIC FORUM ON THE FUTURE OF THE HIGH LINE AT THE WEST SIDE RAIL YARDS

http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/112106/railyards_2.jpg...http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/112106/railyards_3.jpg

The High Line is secure from 30th Street south, and construction on Section 1 is underway.

But at the West Side Rail Yards, between 30th and 34th Streets, the future
of the High Line is in doubt, and the structure may be fully preserved, altered or removed.


http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/112106/railyards_1.jpg

lofter1
December 8th, 2006, 12:50 PM
Public Forum: Saving the Northern End of the High Line (http://www.blogchelsea.com/arts-culture/public-forum-saving-the-northern-end-of-the-high-line/)

blogchelsea.com (http://www.blogchelsea.com/arts-culture/public-forum-saving-the-northern-end-of-the-high-line/)
December 8, 2006

Last night at Chelsea Market, Friends of the High Line (http://www.thehighline.org/) held a public forum about the fate of High Line from 30th Street at the West Side Rail Yards to 34th Street. With so much support at all levels of city, local and state government, Robert Hammond from FHL said that he was embarrassed when he found out that the retention of the High Line above 30th Street ‘‘is not a done deal.”

While work on the southern end of the High Line has already begun — protective fencing is being installed and lead paint remediation has started — there is a possibility that the entire track will not survive.

The piece in question is from 30th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues up to 34th Street between 12th and 11th Avenues, right up to where the extended number 7 subway will end. The land is owned by CSX Transportation. While various projects have been discussed for the end use of the land, the MTA and New York State have yet to decide if the High Line will be included.

“The next four months is critical to the future of the lot,” said John Altshuler, who also spoke at length last night. “No private developer should make the decisions for us. We need a coherent system of parks, green space and neighborhoods.”

Altshuler said that the area in question consists of three main parts, the east-west path of 30th Street, the Eastern Yards (which already has zoning) and the Western Yards which do not. The MTA will issue a request for proposals and by April of 2009 it is expected to go before City Council with its plans. Altshuler called it an “optimistic time frame” but it will give the community the opportunity to speak out and help shape the future of the space.

Altshuler said that the giant loop from 30th Street to 34th Street is the iconic image of the rail yard—with its majestic views of Hudson River sunsets to the west and the Empire State Building to the east. “The loop,” he said, “creates a set of conditions that are stunning. This is just a little under one third, or 31 percent, of the High Line. Breaking that would be a tragic blow to the city.”

Keeping the High Line intact at its most crucial part would also create an opportunity for urban spaces at two or more levels. “There are 160 feet between the High Line and the tracks—perfectly buildable spaces. There is actual dirt there. You don’t need to build a platform over it.”

The density being proposed for 30th Street is greater than anywhere else in Manhattan, he said. “Asking a side street to carry the density of an avenue is a scary proposition. With the High Line intact, it allows 30th Street to breathe.” In any design, 30th Street will become a highly traversed east-west thoroughfare. He showed renditions prepared by Shop Architects (http://www.shoparc.com/) where the intact High Line forms a green corridor along the west side with stunning river views and buildings set back from the street.

He described this point in the High Line as the Hudson River Porch, where the city meets the river, but where the High Line is above the both the traffic and water. “This is the most precious place and the best view. It should be saved for the public.” He described a future High Line, with the Whitney Museum being an anchor at the southern end and a great civic and public space anchor at the north end. “The function of the High Line is to unite civic spaces like Hudson River Park. Not to connect them is irrational on a level that’s disturbing to imagine.”

Altshuler said that keeping the High Line is a smart move for the MTA. “It makes the property more valuable.” He showed the audience an ad for The Caledonia (http://www.thecaledonia.com/home.html)—a new high rise going up in Chelsea. The ad showed no picture of the building, just a portion of the High Line. “This ad produced more sales than any ad in the history of the company. The High Line has become a brand that creates value. Real estate appraisers know that.”

The creation of the High Line has stimulated 31 major projects, said Altshuler. He estimated that the city will invest $150 million in the renovation, but will gain a quarter of a billion in tax revenue. He further estimated that the High Line would add $75 to $100 million in additional land value for the MTA. He conceded that leaving the High Line will complicate construction and will add costs. “But the MTA should act smart,” he said. “Act out of concern for open space and the value of real estate. Tearing it down would be a tragic loss. It would be economically irrational for the MTA and for the city.”

Altshuler said, “This is the biggest construction project that the city will undergo in our lifetime. This is twice as much space as ground zero.”

During the question an answer period, several audience members voiced their support and their concerns for the project. Rebecca White, from the Green Party (http://www.gp.org/), offered the example of the recent rezoning along the waterfront in Brooklyn. The city officials, developers and community members agreed that there would be a continuous public esplanade at the water, she said. But ads are coming out advertising private waterfront space. “And it is likely to be designed so it is alienating to the public, so no one will visit the site.”

One woman asked, “What can we do?”

Hammond responded, “Get involved in the whole process. Come to the High Line public forums. Show up for hearings. Write letters.” He also advocated contacting the Hells Kitchen/Hudson Yard Alliance for more information.

Also present last night was Chris Sharples from Shop Architects, whose firm was asked by FHL to build a set of images for the High Line above 30th Street. Sharples, whose firm is currently working on designs to revitalize the East River waterfront, said he was passionate about the role of public space in urban environments. He agreed with Altshuler that public space can be a useful marketing tool. “If you play the end game better, you can create a better community.”

Also complimenting FHL was Thomas Flagg, a member of the Society for Industrial Archeology (http://www.ss.mtu.edu/IA/sia.html) and a historic consultant to FHL. He said that FHL was carrying on the work Peter Obletz started in the 1980’s. Obletz was a design consultant to the MTA. He lived in two railroad dining cars on the west side. He was the first campaigner to preserve the High Line. Of the FHL he said,” This is as good as we can expect. It’s both good and bad. Continuation of the zoning and the High Line is good. It’s bad that developers can build high buildings and create a canyon condominium park. This proposal is a good compromise. The Friends of the High Line have done a fantastic job.”

pianoman11686
December 8th, 2006, 04:57 PM
This is just such an amazing project, I can't imagine the MTA making the decision to tear down that portion of the High Line. The economic benefits alone justify it. And in the meantime, the city will gain a very special new neighborhood.

Lofter: you mentioned seeing some interesting ideas at the forum. Was there any indication that parts of the High Line could be made season-round (i.e., with a glass canopy)? I was thinking that a small section of it could function almost as a sort of greenhouse/mini botanical garden, that people would be able to access no matter how cold, rainy, or snowy it gets. As of now it just seems like it's very geared towards warm-weather recreational use.

lofter1
December 8th, 2006, 07:10 PM
Some of the ideas that SHOP showed included areas abutting the High Line but which would be part of private developments and include covered areas open to the High Line. They didn't show anything where new covered structures actually were built on the High Line -- but these were very general type renderings -- showing, for example, how the width of streets would be changed if sections of the High Line above 30th Street were to be taken down.

The goal of the FOTHL is to maintain the structure of the High Line in it's purest form, so if there is no covering in an area of the elevated track I don't foresee a design such as you mention. But of course everyting is negotiable -- and who knows what could be in store if the Park were to be extended to the Rail Yards site.

There are sections of the High Line that run through buildings at the southern end -- and there was mention of a Balasz project where the HL runs through it. But there has also been considerable outcry against proposals which show buildings that reach out and over the HL.

It was acknowledged at the forum how the existence of the High Line as it now exists -- surrounding the Rail Yards on 2 full sides and part of a 3rd -- could complicate future construction (which is the MTA's argument for taking it down / deconstructing it). But the FOTHL firmly believe that if sections of the HL are taken down to facilitate construction then that could be a slippery slope -- with no telling what we'd end up with.

There is a photo exhibit of the High Line that will be up for one more week through 12/15 ...

JOEL STERNFELD EXHIBITION AT CALEDONIA OFFICE


http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/112106/sternfeld.jpg

A selection of Joel Sternfeld's photographs from the Walking the High Line series will be on view through December 15 at the Caledonia (http://www.thecaledonia.com/) Sales and Design Office. The exhibition is open daily from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM; free to the public and no appointment is necessary.

Walking the High Line: Photographs by Joel Sternfeld
Caledonia Sales and Design Office
Suite 1516
111 8th Avenue
(between 15th and 16th Streets)

MidtownGuy
December 8th, 2006, 09:35 PM
I have to say I'm more excited about this project than any other in New York. I can't wait!! I wish it was done yesterday!
It's a project that stirs the imagination and excites the soul.This is adding something truly new to New York.
It's going to be used and loved by New Yorkers and tourists alike.
Are they still going to do the portion that looks like an aquarium with waterplants? That blew me away.
As for the northern portion, I can't see why they wouldn't build around it. It seems to skirt the majority of the railyard anyway, rather than plow through it. Wouldn't it be more of a catalyst for development than a hindrance? I hope they do the right thing.

Who's been to the Paris version? Any impressions to relate? How will our's compare?

infoshare
December 9th, 2006, 09:46 AM
The goal of the FOTHL is to maintain the structure of the High Line in it's purest form


So I guess that means that there will be no pedestrian bridge (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=112574&postcount=48) goinng to pier 57:mad: I was hoping (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=64996&postcount=28) to see that Happen. OH,,,, Sweeeet post btw;)

lofter1
December 9th, 2006, 10:44 AM
In fact ^^^ one of the SHOP renderings presented at this week's forum showed a pedestrian bridge crossing the West Side Hiway from the High LIne (at about the mid-point of the stretch that runs North / South from 30th <> 33rd Street along the West Side Hiway) across to the Hudson River Park. It also showed a "grand staircase" as point of egress where the High Line makes the curve from East <> West to North <> South just above 30th Street at the West Side Hiway.

"Connectivity" to the surrounding area(s) is one of the prime objectives of the FOTHL -- so my previous comment that the "goal of the FOTHL is to maintain the structure of the High Line in it's purest form" was a touch off the mark.

infoshare
December 9th, 2006, 11:20 AM
"Connectivity" to the surrounding area(s) is one of the prime objectives of the FOTHL -- so my previous comment that the "goal of the FOTHL is to maintain the structure of the High Line in it's purest form" was a touch off the mark.

Hey, nobody's perfect:D ........ I hope SHOP can make this bridge happen........ IMHO, getting more people to CROSS the highway will help bring more of the "general pulblic" to the hudson river park.

lofter1
December 11th, 2006, 06:50 PM
High Line Update: SHoP's Shimmering New Vision

curbed.com (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/12/11/high_line_update_shops_shimmering_new_vision.php)
Monday, December 11, 2006, by Lockhart

Looking west along 30th Street at some point in the future ...

http://www.curbed.com/2006_12_uhl.jpg

While Friends of the High Line digs in on its fight to preserve the upper 31% (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/12/05/high_line_update_rails_safe_pigeons_targeted.php) of the elevated railway (the portion encircling the rail yards in the West 30s, if you missed last week's coverage), enjoy this snazzy vision of the redeveloped rail yards from the ubiquitous coolsters at SHoP (http://www.shoparc.com/). Bonus points to anyone who can determine just what the hell we're looking at here—and, er, why the sky is viewed through a flared window frame.

· The High Line, Suddenly Not as High? (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2006/12/the_high_line_suddenly_not_as_1.html) [Daily Intel]
· High Line Update: Existence of New Plans Confirmed! (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/12/08/high_line_update_existence_of_new_plans_confirmed. php) [Curbed]

Strattonport
December 20th, 2006, 02:04 AM
This projects only gets better and better... I hope the organization is successful in acquiring the remaining part of the ROW.

nai
January 25th, 2007, 02:56 PM
hello,

I am not from NYC and I am doing a project.., i would like to know what is going on underneath the starting part of the highline (meatpacking district area) ???? how is it used?

Ninjahedge
January 25th, 2007, 03:22 PM
Nai, we would like to help you, but have you read the thread yet?

I know zippy directed you here, but directing you to a thread does not mean to ask teh same question, but to read the thread first, then ask for whatever parts you still need to know.

Have fun reading!

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2007, 09:07 AM
Work on High Line park project is chugging along

By Albert Amateau

The High Line project is on track and the first section of the old elevated rail line between Gansevoort and W. 20th Sts. will open to the public as a park in the summer of 2008, Friends of the High Line told West Side residents on March 8.

A meeting on construction progress drew nearly 100 residents mostly from Chelsea to the Hudson Guild to hear Friends staff members Meredith Taylor and Peter Mullan, along with Michael Bradley, the city Department of Parks’ High Line project administrator, talk about the future “park in the sky.”

The last vestiges of the rails, ties and gravel ballast have been stripped from the south end of the 5-mile viaduct and the rails are being stored on the High Line north of 20th St.

Work on cleaning and repairing the concrete and installing a new waterproofing and drainage system in the nine-block-long southern segment began this week.

Drainage pipes extending down along the vertical columns of the High Line will bring rain runoff to sewer openings in the street. Painting the steel, one small section at a time under a protective flexible shroud, has been underway for nearly two weeks and will likely be completed in May, Mullan said.

The landscape work — new gravel, plantings, paths, seating and lighting — designed by a team that includes the landscape firm of Field Operations and architects Diller & Scafidio & Renfro, will begin this summer, Mullan said. At various places the High Line landscape will include some of the rails that have been stored — “just to let people know that this was built as a railroad,” he said.

“Pigeon proofing is an important part of the project because the droppings rust steel,” Mullan said. Interior girders will include metal panels at steep angles so that pigeons cannot roost. Exterior steel will include thin horizontal bird wire to deter pigeon roosting.

Five access stairways, three of them with elevators, will be built between Gansevoort and 20th Sts. by the summer of 2008. Three of the entryways/exits will be permanent and two will be temporary.

The permanent stair/elevator locations will be Gansevoort St. at the south end of the High Line, at 14th St. and at 16th St., the latter which The Related Companies is building in conjunction with the Caledonia, the residential condo building under construction between 16th and 17th Sts.

In response to skeptical questions about the public use of the 16th St. access, Mullan declared that access to the High Line deck must by law be public. The Caledonia, however, would have its own connection to the High Line stairway.

A temporary stairway to the High Line will be built at 18th St., from the parking lot now used by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in the building on the south side of 18th St. The parking lot will be developed later as a plaza for a residential project.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is planning to develop a new museum at the Gansevoort St. entrance to the High Line park, but that project is expected to be in construction when the High Line opens. In addition, Andre Balazs is building a 337-room hotel, The Standard, at 448 Washington St., which will straddle the High Line at Little W. 12th St.

The other temporary access to the High Line will be at the 20th St. end of the section, planned to open in 2008.

Preparatory work on the second section of the High Line, between 20th and 30th Sts., will begin this summer. But the schedule for the last section of the rail viaduct that swings around the rail yards to the West Side Highway and back to 11th Ave. at 34th St. is still uncertain.

That northern segment is still owned by CSX, the railroad company that inherited the viaduct built in 1933 by the New York Central Railroad. The segment skirts the western rail yards once envisioned as the site of a New York Jets football stadium. Since the demise of the stadium plan, the future of the rail yards and the High Line section around it has been uncertain.

The Villager is published by Community Media LLC. 145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013

BrooklynRider
March 23rd, 2007, 09:58 AM
Those huge structures for the Standard Hotel have everyone craning there necks as they go by.

MarkDrake
April 18th, 2007, 08:59 PM
I'm a rail fan, history buff, and a sucker for anything not new! I think its great The Friends of the High Line have succeeded in saving this great piece of New York & Railroad history!

pianoman11686
June 12th, 2007, 09:51 AM
High Line restoration cost to top $100M

By: Julie Satow
Published: June 8, 2007 - 1:27 pm

Restoring the northern portion of the High Line, the abandoned elevated railway that runs along the rail yards on Manhattan’s far West Side, will cost $117 million, according to a new report that is likely to embolden developers seeking to tear down the railway.

The report, prepared by Tishman Construction for The Durst Organization, comes as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the 13-acre rail yard, is expected to issue a request for development proposals on Monday.

The cost of the High Line is crucial because it will lower the price developers are willing to bid for the right to develop the site and thus drive down the MTA’s proceeds.

The Durst Organization, which is partnering with Vornado Realty Trust, is one of a handful of developers expected to bid for the right to develop the site, where as many as 5,800 new apartments and 9.4 million square feet of office space could be constructed. Others include The Related Cos., Brookfield and Tishman Speyer.

Durst Organization President Douglas Durst, a vocal opponent of retaining the northern section of the High Line, which snakes west along 30th Street and north on 12th Avenue to 34th Street, says the price tag is due mostly to the cost of underpinning the section that runs along 12th Avenue.

“The wood is destroyed from decades of getting wet, then dry and then wet again—the worst possible condition,” says Mr. Durst. The High Line also contains lead paint that must be abated, he says.

The High Line will prevent the development of 13,000 square feet of retail space, resulting in $20 million of lost revenue, according to the report. It will also compromise retail space, storage and parking spots, costing a developer $26 million in lower rents. The cost of tearing down the High Line and replacing it with a raised park would cost $38 million.

The MTA has said that it supports the presence of the High Line, but only if its retention does not drive down bids for the site by more than $25 million. Advocacy group Friends of the High Line has previously argued that the cost of maintaining the structure is under $1 million.

“Our study also found additional cost savings by maintaining the existing High Line structure at the rail yards because demolition costs and the costs of building the platform in that area would be eliminated,” says Joshua David, co-founder of Friends of the High Line.

Entire contents © 2007 Crain Communications, Inc. (http://www.newyorkbusiness.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070608/FREE/70608007/1102)

Eugenious
June 12th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Pretty soon it'll cost 100 million to put up a light pole.

:mad:

lofter1
June 13th, 2007, 01:17 AM
Yeah ^^^ it's a drag, eh?

A hundred mil don't go as far as it used to :cool:

macreator
June 14th, 2007, 12:02 AM
It would be a shame to see that section of the highline go. I was banking on it forcing developers to actually produce some interesting urban planning and creatively shaped buildings to accommodate the intrusion of the rail line.

Too bad part of the City's $4.4 billion dollar surplus didn't go to keeping the line. Seems so shortsighted. :(

pianoman11686
June 14th, 2007, 12:14 AM
I was banking on it forcing developers to actually produce some interesting urban planning and creatively shaped buildings to accommodate the intrusion of the rail line.

City Planning is working on the urban planning.

vanshnookenraggen
July 2nd, 2007, 11:55 AM
I bet the city and the MTA want to see this section go. I wouldn't be surprised if the MTA's report about structural rehabilitation had very small things blown way out of proportion just to justify a higher cost. The better that land looks the more cash the MTA can get, and everyone knows how much they need it.

You are right that planning the northern section would be a great idea but your foresight only goes as far as your wallet then some good ideas easily pass by.

econ_tim
July 2nd, 2007, 03:54 PM
while we're at it, we should convert some of the disused subway tunnels into public parks. think of the subterranean condo boom that could set off!

MidtownGuy
July 2nd, 2007, 05:46 PM
Oh, you're a clever one.
I hear trolls like to live underground, maybe we could set a subterranean unit aside for you.

econ_tim
July 3rd, 2007, 03:46 PM
Oh, you're a clever one.
I hear trolls like to live underground, maybe we could set a subterranean unit aside for you.

i guess some people can't take a joke.

btw midtown - this is the second time you've resorted to calling me names.

MidtownGuy
July 3rd, 2007, 04:56 PM
I apologize if you think I called you a name.

What you wrote didn't seem like a joke, more like a wisecrack.

When someone makes a wisecrack, they can expect to get one right back.
Right?
I thought mine was about as clever, and about as uncalled for, as your post that provoked it.

When a post has a sarcastic and mocking tone the way yours did,
you can hardly be surprised when you get the same in return.
Try to be a little less dismissive of ideas that don't immediately fit into your doctrinaire view of what is appropriate for economic development.

econ_tim
July 3rd, 2007, 06:46 PM
Try to be a little less dismissive of ideas that don't immediately fit into your doctrinaire view of what is appropriate for economic development.

I think you're reading way too much into my post.

MidtownGuy
July 3rd, 2007, 07:17 PM
OK, sorry.

econ_tim
July 3rd, 2007, 09:43 PM
OK, sorry.

no prob. i was having a rough day myself earlier. i blame it on the lyndon larouch activist who was talking my ear off.

Jim856796
July 13th, 2007, 05:42 AM
But at the West Side Rail Yards, between 30th and 34th Streets, the future
of the High Line is in doubt, and the structure may be fully preserved, altered or removed.



http://www.thehighline.org/img/newsletter/112106/railyards_1.jpg


I recommend that the straight portion to be restored as part of the High Line project, and the curved portion be removed.

ZippyTheChimp
July 13th, 2007, 06:22 AM
It leads to 34th St and the convention center. Perfect gateway.

lofter1
July 13th, 2007, 09:34 AM
To NOT retain / restore this entire section of the High Line will be a huge mistake --

The possibilities this section of the HL offers for public access in that area and across from the still-unconstructed stretch of the Hudson River Park can not be duplicated -- and such access / open space WILL not be willingly constructed by developers here if the far western section of the HL comes down.

MidtownGuy
July 13th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Plus it could be a catalyst working in favor of development rather than against it, as happened downtown. From what I can see it skirts neatly around the railyards, so what's the problem?

ASchwarz
July 13th, 2007, 01:18 PM
^
The problem is that the actual developers (not the pretend ones on Wired NY) have the complete opposite opinion. They all say preservation will mean a less viable project and less money for the MTA.

I'll believe the people that actually have experience with development.

Ninjahedge
July 13th, 2007, 01:28 PM
^
The problem is that the actual developers (not the pretend ones on Wired NY) have the complete opposite opinion. They all say preservation will mean a less viable project and less money for the MTA.

I'll believe the people that actually have experience with development.

And how are the two mutually exclusive?

Yes, preserving it will get the MTA less money and less viable project space, but the blunt truth is, it would just make it harder for them to do what they need to do.

The less stuff on site, the less work you need to do on all levels (Arch, engineering AND construction).

But implying that nothing would be built there because of it is not very feasable either, since, as was shown with spiking unit prices and buyouts down in the village near the line, the line and promise of green space make it more desirable to the resedential market.

ASchwarz
July 13th, 2007, 02:38 PM
I didn't say it was impossible; I responded to everyone asking why the developers were against the idea.

It apparently can be done, but the developers say it will mean less money for subways and other transit, less on-site affordable housing and less tax revenue from the project.

There's a balancing act inherent in such decisions, and if the developers are correct in their assessment, I would choose the additional subway money, tax revenue and affordable housing over an extended elevated walkway. The Highline is already pretty lenghty and substantial in its southern portion.

lofter1
July 14th, 2007, 01:53 AM
The northern section of the HL -- the section in question -- is the ONLY section which OVERLOOKS the Hudson. This will make it that much more of a money-generating amenity in the future.

The developers have stated that they would rather tear down the upper stretch of the HL because it makes for easier (less costly) access to the development sites (they wouldn't have to work around the existing structure).

Remember that until just a couple of years ago the party line among developers was that the southern section of the HL needed to come down as well -- under Giuliani's administration this was the plan that was being discussed. It wasn't until Bloomberg came in and the subsequent upswing in the residential condo market that the powers that be changed direction to and saved the HL.

That change of plan has greatly increased property values and developemnt possibilities from 28th Street all the way down to 16th Street.

Are such changes in attitude necessary to make the Hudson Yards a huge money making development? Given current economic conditions probably not. But from a city planning / design point of view retaining the northern HL is the best way to go.

Clearly there have been behind the scenes discussions between politicians / developers regarding the Hudson Yards / HL which have not been made public. Decisions have been made to keep the Waste Transfer Station and the Sanititation Garage away from that area. It seems that a decision has been made by those same folks to lose the northern section of the High Line.

It will be interesting to see where Gerry Nadler comes down on this one -- a he wa instrumental in getting the first section of the HL saved.

ablarc
August 10th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Most folks know the High Line idea was implemented years ago in Paris: railroad viaduct becomes elevated park:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/viaducdesarts/01.jpg

The Viaduc des Arts:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/viaducdesarts/02.jpg

Promenade Plantee:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/viaducdesarts/04.jpg

Intimate relationship:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/viaducdesarts/03.jpg



(Photos from stellarfun, architecturalBoston)

Edward
September 28th, 2007, 10:47 AM
http://www.ohny.org/weekend/
Open House NY


High Line, The UPDATE: ONLY AGE 18+ ALLOWED (http://www.thehighline.org/)

neighborhood: Chelsea/Hells Kitchen
Sat: Oct 6, 11am-4pm
Sun: Oct 7, 11am-4pm
Reservations required/ for location: ohny@thehighline.org. ONLY AGE 18 and OVER ALLOWED.
Maximum people: 20 per tour
building date: 1934
architect:

This historic elevated rail viaduct, donated to the City by CSX Transportation, Inc, is being converted to public open space. Take a walk on the still-untouched rail yards section, courtesy of Friends of the High Line, CSX, and the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation.

Edward
September 28th, 2007, 10:50 AM
Received this response to my request for reservations:


Due to an overwhelming response, tours of the High Line are completely booked.
Please email info@thehighline.org if you would like to be added to our wait list (Please do not respond to this e-mail. This e-mail box is not checked).
In case we are able to host other large public viewings in the future, please also indicate if you would like to be added to our email newsletters.

lofter1
September 28th, 2007, 10:55 AM
Just imagine the crowds this park (when completed) will generate on a beautiful Spring / Summer day ...

A version of beautiful Urban Hell?

MidtownGuy
October 3rd, 2007, 10:15 PM
In the beginning it will be packed with every curious New Yorker and tourist in sight but after a while I think it'll settle down a bit. At least on the weekdays.
I hope it will be even better than the one in Paris.:p
NYC needs a home run.

Ninjahedge
October 4th, 2007, 03:49 PM
NYC needs a home run.

Not a dog-run!

;)

Edward
October 8th, 2007, 02:19 AM
Walking the High Line during the Open House NY weekend.


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2186/1512833686_b86a4f6be2_o.jpg (http://flickr.com/photos/sudentas/show/)

Ninjahedge
October 8th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Ed, you have a hot link there to your Flikr show...

Do you want everyone to see all your shots? ;)

Edward
October 18th, 2007, 02:54 PM
October 23 will be the first public opportunity to see preliminary design plans for Section 2 of the High Line (20th Street to 30th Street). The High Line design team lead, James Corner, principal of landscape architecture firm Field Operations, and Ricardo Scofidio, of architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will present the design concept, answer questions, and take comments.

High Line Section 2 Community Input Forum
Tuesday, October 23, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Cedar Lake Theater
547 West 26th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)

DarrylStrawberry
January 1st, 2008, 10:45 PM
In Winds of Winter, Midair Park Takes Shape

By GLENN COLLINS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/glenn_collins/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: January 2, 2008

The sleek, computer-driven architectural previews of New York’s first midair park, the High Line, depict pedestrians navigating a public promenade that is on track to be celebrated next fall. Like space-age schematics, they offer a futuristic refuge: a pristine ribbon of green providing exquisite views of Manhattan.

But the High Line has been something quite different, a flaking, rusting industrial ruin that needed to be transformed to match the digital renderings. And someone has been doing all that work. So right now the High Line is one hairy construction site.

The defunct elevated railway — which stretches from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on the Far West Side — is a secret world these days, barred to the meatpacking-district crowds that mob the new Apple Store and swarm to a high-end shopping festival in a once-scruffy quarter that real estate advertisements now call “the prestigious High Line District.”
Fifty hard hats in safety orange — including ironworkers, carpenters, painters and garden-variety laborers — perform a fast-tracked logistical ballet 30 feet up on the line, as steel and concrete are delivered just in time to be grappled into place.

Bridges freeze before roadways, of course, and thus it is on the High Line, which shimmers with icicles at times while vibrating with hard winds from the Hudson. Safety railings sing in the gales, and it is not uncommon for snow and sleet to blow upward, swirling in updrafts shaped by the patchwork of low-rise buildings underneath.

Not unlike the hardy wildflowers, shrubs and even apple trees that adapted to the lost world of the track bed, workers have already embraced the onset of winter.

“The cold is great — bring it on,” said John Forbes, 43, an ironworker. “We really don’t mind cold. It’s heat that’s the killer.” He referred to the summer’s labor on the unshaded railway radiating hotly from its 8-inch-thick concrete slab.

Of course, high wind — as on a recent afternoon punctuated with chilly gusts of 40 miles an hour — forces managers to shut down the construction cranes. A freeze curtails the concrete pours and painting forays, while ice and snow divert topside workers to their shovels before they can scurry to tasks on the line’s dry undersurface.

The project that has been promoted as the new Central Park for downtown is, currently, a mile-long obstacle course. The rail bed threads its way not only through High Line construction but also 10 other developments, including a new tunnel through the Standard Hotel at Washington and Little West 12th Streets.

“It’s very, very tight up here,” said Mike Balbo, 27, back on the High Line. He was behind the wheel of a 9-ton payloader ferrying job debris. “Just fitting this on the road is hard.”

Bob Marriott, general superintendent for Kiska Construction Corporation, the general contractor, said: “We’ve been trying to complete our repairs and our painting without massively disrupting the businesses and tenants below.”

Save for a parcel near Gansevoort Street, the city owns none of the real estate underneath the High Line aside from streets and sidewalks. “You do not want to drop things from on high,” said Gerard Zimmermann, 40, a chief inspector for Kiska.

The roadbed’s elevation is nothing, of course, to workers accustomed to dancing on high steel. “For me this is pretty easy,” said Mr. Zimmermann, who has walked atop the George Washington and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges.

Nevertheless, the airborne landscape poses safety issues and other, more personal constraints. For example, since sanitation contractors do not deign to scale 30-foot heights, the workers must descend from the line “because companies will only clean portable bathrooms downstairs on the street level,” said Garrett Scalza, 30, who was supervising a group of carpenters near Gansevoort Street.

And since the High Line extends through residential areas, “We can’t make noise early or late, or work on the weekends,” Mr. Zimmermann said.

Given their total exposure, High Line workers are especially vulnerable from on high. “It’s pretty safe up here except when there’s construction above us,” said Sathar Ansari, 32, a site-safety manager. “Other contractors, by accident, have dropped plywood and other debris, but luckily no one was hurt.”

Despite extreme heat and fierce cold, so far workers have experienced only minor injuries, save for one carpenter who tripped and fell three feet and lost five days of work.

Near Gansevoort Street, laborers are already installing the concrete planking surface destined to be a walkway for visitors. Cast in Quebec and weighing 600 to 800 pounds, the planks — some 7,600 of them — are hefted by forklifts “and then we muscle them into place with crowbars,” said Emilio Arostegui, 40, who heads a labor crew. They are jigsaw-puzzle pieces of a structural system of pedestrian promenades that extend like concrete fingers into the planting beds that will restore the park greenery using 6,300 cubic yards of soil.

Workers up on the line are laboring to complete the first, $71 million, phase of the $170 million High Line construction, a section from Gansevoort Street up to 20th Street.

“Next fall’s opening is breathing down our neck,” said Peter Mullan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/peter_mullan/index.html?inline=nyt-per), director of planning for Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit group that helped block attempts to demolish the viaduct and helped design its renovation.

The structure is owned by the city south of 30th Street under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of the High Line. The city’s Economic Development Corporation is overseeing construction on the site along with the mayor’s office and the Department of City Planning.

The remainder of the city-owned roadbed is scheduled to become a park by 2009. Another half-mile section rings the railyards north of 30th street and 12th Avenue, and five bidders are competing to develop the property; only three want to preserve that part of the High Line.

“There has never been another project like it, there is no model, and it involves a tangle of jurisdictions,” said Daniel L. Doctoroff (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/daniel_l_doctoroff/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the deputy mayor for economic development. He said he designated the High Line the first project in his new Office of Capital Project Development to spearhead construction “on an extremely accelerated schedule requiring precise coordination among multiple city agencies.”

He added: “It is on budget and essentially on time.”

Enemies of the High Line once claimed that the corridor, built from 1928 to 1934, was disintegrating in a rain of concrete. But despite its appearance, engineers have found it to be mostly well preserved and massively strong, “built to support locomotives, designed for 10 times the load it will carry as a park,” said Michael Bradley, the High Line’s project planning administrator for the parks department.

Already, workers have ripped out the High Line’s original roadbed down to the concrete slab, removing gravel, tracks, ties, soil and the urban wilderness of vegetation that had seeded itself there. This was mandatory, Mr. Mullan said, since toxic chemical contaminants had leaked from the freight trains, the last of which bowled through with a load of frozen turkeys in 1980.

Flaking old lead paint on the structure has been sand-blasted down to the steel and is being covered with 18,000 gallons of paint. And workers are conserving the rail line’s Art Decoish configurations of bolted steel plates that have been termed “industrial folk art.”

“We are changing out steel beams, preparing the structure to carry a park instead of freight trains,” said Tom Ryan, 41, an ironworker who leads a restoration crew. “There are a million rivets on the High Line, and I’ve only replaced 10,000,” he said, deadpan.

The original freight rails — which had been temporarily relocated to the northerly reaches of the trestle — are now being reinstalled to the south as design elements only. Workers have just put in the first rail junction, called a frog “because that’s what a frog looks like after it’s been run over by a locomotive,” Mr. Ryan said.

By their industrious presence, the workers have relocated the pigeons that once found their earthly paradise at the underside of the trestle, producing decades of D’oh! dry cleaning moments for unlucky pedestrians.
“Pigeons know to stay away from people in hard hats,” said Mike Forbes, 35, an on-site construction draftsman.

Mr. Zimmermann added: “I think they headed to the nearest park.”
Since acidic pigeon waste corrodes the steelwork, laborers have been installing permanent, harmless anti-pigeon shields — angled plates welded atop girders — as well as strategically stretched flexible steel wires to deter birds’ happy landings.

“The thing is, the pigeons keep coming back,” said Mr. Marriott, adding that birds have already made modifications to the High Line not envisioned by the designers, Field Operations and Diller Scofidio & Renfro of Manhattan. “They’ve created new nests in the temporary pigeon netting that was installed” as a prelude to the permanent pigeon shields, he said.
On the line, there is a perpetual incongruity between the grit above and the glitz below. As winds scoured the High Line tunnel through the Chelsea Market on a recent afternoon, Fernando Espino, 36, was shoveling construction debris on the concrete slab above the roof of the Morimoto restaurant, while unseen diners below tasted truffled tofu and summoned the Iron Chef’s sake sommelier.

Workers have long been inured to the spectacle of meat hanging on hooks in the same meatpacking neighborhood where supermodels slink to fashion shoots, where Beyoncé (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/beyonce_knowles/index.html?inline=nyt-per) shops and Cameron Diaz (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/cameron_diaz/index.html?inline=nyt-per) heads to her scheduled hair appointment.

Another wave of wind roiled from the river and crashed into the High Line. “It’s not a problem for me, in 30- to 45-mile-an-hour winds,” said John Forbes, the ironworker, who is 6-foot-5 and weighs 380 pounds. “I’m not going to blow away. I’m an andiron.”

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/01/01/nyregion/0102-HIGHLINE_index.html

http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_story=1a6fa16953dcf40f28f5c90f54aae8acf5f89e00

MidtownGuy
January 26th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Thanks for those great links.
There's a picture in the slideshow of a welder working on the railing and it's looking excellent. The opening of the first segment is such a great thing to look forward to in 2008. Imagine the crowds that'll be checking it out the first weekend.
This is one of those projects that reaffirm my love for this town despite all of the unfortunate things we witness.

Jim856796
January 28th, 2008, 01:09 AM
Are there any photos of the High Line taken in this month?

BigMac
March 6th, 2008, 12:26 PM
amNewYork
March 6, 2008

Eye-catching building highlights High Line rebirth

By David Freedlander
amNewYork Staff Writer

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2008-03/36423655.jpg http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2008-03/36423650.jpg
Renderings of the High Line project at 23rd Street in Manhattan. The unit will be the second building which wraps around the decaying highline industrial relic.

The transformation of the High Line from a rotting railway to a postmodern park traveled further down the track Wednesday as plans were unveiled for a new tower slated to open next year.

The building, called HL23, is the first project by architectural theorist Neil Denari. It will lean above the elevated park at an angle and taper upward to give the appearance of growing out of the old rail bed.

"The site makes what the building is, happen," Denari said. " The High Line is the start of the action. I used to live near there, and I always thought that if you could give me my choice of places to build in the city, I'd take this one."

Denari's not the only one. There are now more than 40 projects going up around the elevated railway, and the area is quickly becoming known in architectural circles as a global hotspot for new and interesting buildings.

"Because there is no context in this neighborhood, I thought you could do something different," said Alf Naman, the project's developer.

The 11 residences at HL23, which gets its name from its location on West 23rd Street between 10th and 11th avenues, will range in size from 1,850 to 3,600 square feet, and cost between $2.65 million and $10.5 million.

The project was unveiled Wednesday at Craftsteak, a Chelsea restaurant, to brokers and industry insiders.

The 14-story building will be the focus of a June exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York on new architecture and the High Line.

Some locals are wondering, though, if development in the area has gone too far.

"It's too much, and it's a lot of dust and traffic," said Silvia Baldwin, 58, a 16-year resident of the neighborhood, as she pointed to the forest of construction cranes looming over her West Chelsea street. "I feel like we're losing too many low-income people."

John Tyler, 65, a life-long resident of the area, agreed. He used to work on the piers unloading ships and remembered when the neighborhood was mostly tenements and trains ran on the strange tracks that seemed to float in the air.

"I wish it didn't change so fast," he said. "What was here they should have left alone. They should just let certain parts of Manhattan be."

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2008-03/36423649.jpg

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2008-03/36423647.jpg

Copyright © 2008, AM New York

NYatKNIGHT
March 11th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Progress Report
A Special Villager Supplement


The High Line

http://www.thevillager.com/villager_253/path.gif


Work is well underway on Section 1 — the southern part — of the High Line park project. Section 1 is expected to open by the end of this year.


Paths, plants, blogs: Working on the railroad park


By Katie Lorah


The public space on the High Line is now taking shape above the streets and sidewalks of the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea.


Landscape construction has started on Section 1 of the High Line (Gansevoort St. to 20th St.). Workers are installing the park’s pathways, made of long, smooth, concrete planks. These planks are tapered at the ends to allow plants to push up through the gaps, blurring the boundary between the hard surfaces and the planting. Some of these planks curl up from the surface of the pathway to create the High Line’s signature benches.


At the same time, the construction crew is reinstalling many of the steel rail tracks, where trains once ran. The tracks were marked for their original location before being put in storage during site preparation. They are now being returned to these locations, incorporated into the plantings, as a reminder of the history and original purpose of the High Line.


There will be an access point rising from street level about every two blocks in Section 1. At two of these points — one at Gansevoort St. and one at 14th St. — the stairway will cut directly through the steel structure itself. This will bring visitors up through the massive steel beams and hand-driven rivets of the High Line, coming face to face with the structure itself, before arriving on the landscape on top. Workers recently removed sections of the steel I-beams at both of these locations, creating cutaways for the stairs.


Later this spring, a team of horticulturists, led by Dutch planting designer Piet Oudolf, plan to start planting on the High Line. The plantings in the park are inspired by the wild landscape that grew up naturally on the structure after the trains stopped running. There will be a focus on native and drought-resistant plants, with many of the same species of grasses and shrubs that were originally found on the High Line.


Section 1 is projected to open by the end of 2008, and Section 2 (20th to 30th Sts.) is projected to open by the end of 2009.


Although the High Line up to 30th St. is secure, owned by the city, and on its way to becoming a public park, the future of the High Line north of 30th St. is still uncertain. This section, about one-third of the line, wraps around the West Side Rail Yards, a 26-acre site owned by the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The M.T.A. is planning to lease the rail yards site to a private developer for high-density residential and commercial development. As part of this development, the High Line at the rail yards might be partially or fully demolished. Friends of the High Line is working with city, state and federal elected officials and community leaders to ensure that the High Line is fully preserved at the rail yards. F.H.L. has also started a Rail Yards Blog to monitor activity at this important West Side site: http://railyardsblog.org.


Friends of the High Line is now transitioning into a conservancy organization, which will work with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain and operate the park when it is complete. As part of this transition, Friends of the High Line has recently launched a Charter Membership program. Membership dollars will help make sure the High Line is maintained and operated at a high standard, making it a well-loved neighborhood park. Friends of the High Line is planning a full roster of community events in the year leading up to the opening of Section 1. To learn more about becoming a Charter Member, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.thehighline.org (http://www.thehighline.org/). You can also read the High Line Blog at http://blog.thehighline.org (http://www.blog.thehighline.org/).



Lorah is media and project manager, Friends of the High Line

The Villager (http://www.thevillager.com)

http://www.thevillager.com/villager_253/pathsplantsblogs.html

lofter1
March 26th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Photo of the Week: West Side Cowboy Twofer

High Line Blog (http://blog.thehighline.org/2008/03/12/photo-of-the-week-west-side-cowboy-twofer/#more-252)
March 12, 2008
by katieatthehighline

http://friendsofthehighline.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/cowboy.jpg?w=352&h=508 (http://friendsofthehighline.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/cowboy.jpg)
[Cowboy on 10th Avenue and 17th Street. Click to enlarge.]

This is one of our favorite historical images. The West Side Cowboys were
employed by the City to ride in front of street-level freight trains and wave
pedestrians out of the way. This was the City’s stopgap measure to stop the
carnage on what was known as “Death Avenue.” The Cowboys were phased
out after the High Line was built, raising train traffic to the third story of
industrial buildings. The cowboy above is from the 1930’s, when the High Line
was being built, and the structure is visible in the background. The cowboy below
dates from 1911, before the High Line was a glimmer in its daddy’s eye.

http://friendsofthehighline.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/west-side-cowboy.jpg?w=906&h=670 (http://friendsofthehighline.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/west-side-cowboy.jpg)
[Cowboy on 13th Street and 11th Avenue in the Meatpacking District. Photo from Shorpy.com (http://www.shorpy.com/), the 100-Year-Old Photo Blog. Click to enlarge and note the guy with the pegleg.]

After the jump, the 1934 London Terrace Tatler (http://www.londonterracetowers.com/tatler.html) waxes eloquent about the Cowboys and their brave ponies.

Note: This story was taken from the London Terrace Towers site, which has a great history section (http://www.londonterracetowers.com/history.html).



London Terrace News - January 1934


Cowboys of the Cobblestones



Every resident of London Terrace knows , and we believe, likes the cowboy riders of the New York Central, who day and night, rain or shine, majestically precede the electric trains along Tenth Avenue. For over eighty years this unique custom has been in existence, but now, even as the riders of the West have faded into glamorous limbo of romance, their own day is drawing to its close. With the early completion of the overhead roadway, they will disappear from the streets of New York, leaving many to change “The Last Round Up” as the brass bands announce the official opening of a modern Manhattan miracle.



Law of the Range



The story of these riders goes back to December 4, 1850 when the City Council passed a law compelling trains on the streets of New York to be preceded by a rider on horseback, on block ahead of the locomotive, waving a red flag by day and a red light by night to warn pedestrians and prevent runaways of horse-drawn vehicles. This quaint law is still in force, and the New York Central must, until it rises above the street, provide its riders or suffer revocation of its franchise.



Two Mile Ride



The Tenth Avenue freight route extends from 30th Street south to St. John’s yards below Canal Street, a distance of about two miles. To cover the operation of the various trains, a staff of twelve riders is maintained. These boys, who must all be over eighteen years old, are almost wholly recruited from Tenth Avenue and West Street, and strange as it may appear, riders are difficult to find, and only those who have, by strange fortune, learned to ride in the county are used, because a country boy knows and understands horses, and is thus prepared for any unexpected excitement that might affect his steed.



The “Ranch Boss” of these cowboys is the Superintendent of the New York Central Freight Yards, and since the law has been in effect two of the riders have risen from the range to the important position of Yard Masters.



The Ponies



The horses used in this unusual service are tried and true, and are perfectly aware of their important mission in life. They know traffic and excitement, thick fogs and blinding storms, the deep-throated adieus of departing liners and the tremendous thrill of screaming fire engines, but through it all they move surely and serenely, carrying out the Law of the City Council and giving opportunity for their gallant riders to amuse the passerby with amazing variation of the routine waving of the red lanterns. The effective term of duty of these mounts for this service is over eight years, duet to the special care and the use of rubber padding on their hoofs, and when their usefulness on the city pavements is over they are auctioned off at the Bulls Head Horse Market to continue their lives on softer turf in greener pastures.

Jim856796
May 6th, 2008, 12:22 AM
The portion of the High Line from 30th to 34th Streets is still owned by the CSX Railroad Company despite being unused. Is this a problem? I don't know what we can do about this.

MikeW
May 6th, 2008, 04:10 PM
How much use is this park likely to see? I think this is going to be less used that alot of the "bonus plazas" that were created by the tower in plaza zoning.

brianac
May 18th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Streetscapes/Lower West Side

As High Line Park Rises, a Time Capsule Remains

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/18/realestate/18scap-600.jpg Left, National Geographic magazine; Right, Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
ABOVE THE TRACKS The Western Electric complex, seen from Washington Street, in 1936. At right, the artists' housing complex Westbeth.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&inline=nyt-per)
Published: May 18, 2008

THE first section of the new High Line park is moving toward completion, six blocks of hulking elevated rail line along the lower West Side, converted to an urban symphony of walking paths and landscaping — with one exception. Under the artists’ housing complex Westbeth, on Washington between Bank and Bethune Streets, one little section of the old rail line continues in a glorious romantic desuetude.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/16/realestate/18scap2-650.jpgOzier Muhammad/The New York Times
A section of the old elevated freight line where track ties are still visible.

In the 1890s, Western Electric began building a factory complex on the block bounded by Washington, Bank, Bethune and West Streets. A subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph, Western Electric built the phones leased by AT&T to its customers, which added substantially to company revenues.

In 1900, Western Electric completed the principal structure on the site, 463 West Street, designed by the architect Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz. Thirteen stories high, the structure had an ornamental entrance flanked by giant lanterns but was otherwise homely and utilitarian.

In 1925, Bell Telephone Laboratories took over the research work of Western Electric. At 463 West Street two years later, the face of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, in Washington, appeared on a tiny screen in the building, in an early live-television experiment. “The motion of the speaker’s lips and his changes of expression were flashed on the screen,” The New York Times reported. “It was as if a photograph had suddenly come to life.”

A man demonstrated tennis shots on the roof of the building in 1928, and the images were transmitted three floors below, as the company perfected an outside television camera with a five-inch-wide lens. An unidentified engineer told The Times, “We can take this machine to Niagara, to the Polo Grounds or to the Yale Bowl.”

In 1929, plans were completed for what was later called the High Line, an elevated freight rail line relocating the New York Central’s grade-level tracks from West and other streets. Collisions along the line had caused so many accidents that the route had become known as “Death Avenue.” (A history of the line is posted at thehighline.org (http://thehighline.org/).)

In a few cases the double track had nowhere to go but through existing structures, and in 1931 Bell Laboratories had to partition off space in its building between the second and fifth floors to make way.

The elevated rail line was a success until after World War II and the growth of the trucking industry. In 1970, the High Line was cut at Bank Street, and 10 years later the route closed entirely. The owner at the time, Conrail, was happy to surrender the line to Peter Obletz, a visionary whose hopes for resurrecting local passenger rail service ultimately fizzled.
It was easy in the ’70s to sneak up to the track bed and explore a kind of industrial lost world: rail detritus disappearing under moss and plants — an urban Zen wilderness above the din of traffic.

As for Bell Laboratories, it continued in its building until 1966, then moved most research operations to New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newjersey/?inline=nyt-geo). It was in the mid-1960s that a group of arts activists, financed by the J. M. Kaplan Fund, took over the block and created Westbeth, a complex of subsidized housing for artists.
By 1992, the High Line was cut at Bethune Street, marooning the 235 feet of track that run under Westbeth.

Four blocks north, the High Line portion from Gansevoort Street up to the 30th Street Yards, meanwhile, became a project for activists, who lobbied to make a park of it; the Bloomberg administration endorsed the plan in 2002.

Joshua Laird, an assistant commissioner at the Department of Parks and Recreation, said recently that construction work on the portion from Gansevoort to 18th Street would be complete in September, although an opening date has not been set. Drawings for the project, designed by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio & Renfro, are posted online at dillerscofidio.com (http://dillerscofidio.com/), and show a subtle, varying series of plantings and pathways. But the site necessarily has a “managed” feel; its quality of evocative romantic decay will disappear.

Not so on the Westbeth portion — where, about 25 feet above the sidewalk, the romance survives. The northerly half of the line, covered over by the building, is almost entirely free of plants. But the southerly part is open to the sky, and feels like an Irish heath, the ballast underneath the thin cover of plants yielding slightly underfoot. The rails are gone, but rusty spikes, metal objects, a wooden tie and other leftovers attest to a time when rail was king.

Steven Neil, executive director of Westbeth, says that because apartments line the wall along the rail line, the only access to it is by ladder.

“People come up with ideas” for taking advantage of the space, he said, “especially when we have a budget deficit.” But Westbeth, which is a not-for-profit corporation, has never been able to come up with the money.

This little time capsule is likely to remain intact — even though, as Mr. Neil says, “the possibilities are endless.”

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/realestate/18scap.html?ref=realestate

Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

DarrylStrawberry
June 26th, 2008, 07:36 AM
City Unveils Final Plan on First Slice of the High Line

By SEWELL CHAN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/sewell_chan/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: June 26, 2008

City officials and the Friends of the High Line (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/high_line_nyc/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) presented the final design on Wednesday for the first phase of the High Line, the $170 million park that is under construction on the West Side of Manhattan and has been called one of New York City’s more distinctive public projects.

The park, modeled loosely on the Promenade Plantée in Paris, is being built on a 1.45-mile elevated freight rail structure that stretches 22 blocks, from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, near the Hudson River. The rail structure, built to support two fully loaded freight trains, was built from 1929 to 1934 when the West Side was a freight-transportation hub, but has been unused for decades. The tracks are 30 to 60 feet wide and 18 to 30 feet above the ground.

Ground was broken in April 2006. Over the past two years, crews have been constructing the first, $85 million segment of the 6.7-acre park, which is estimated to cost $170 million and is financed by federal, city and private money.

At a news conference in Chelsea, officials unveiled two sets of final designs: for the first phase, which will stretch from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street and be completed by the end of this year, and for the second phase, which will go from 20th Street to 30th Street and be completed by the end of 2009.

“The High Line will be like other parks in our city’s system, but it will also be distinct — a park in the sky, unlike any other,” Adrian Benepe (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/adrian_benepe/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the city’s parks commissioner, said in a statement.

Amanda M. Burden, the city’s planning commissioner, who joined Mr. Benepe at the news conference, said in a statement that the designers had “created a magical environment that is at once ever-changing, intricate and sweeping.”

The designs for the park are the creation of a team led by Field Operations, a landscape architectural company, which, along with architects from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, won a 2004 design competition. The Museum of Modern Art exhibited the team’s preliminary designs for the first phase of the High Line in 2005.

The new designs reveal with greater precision the important elements of the park’s first phase, including Gansevoort Plaza, the park’s southern terminus in the meatpacking district and a major access point for the park; the “slow stairs” that will gradually ascend from street level to the elevated rail bed; and a two-level sundeck between 14th and 15th Streets that will offer views of the Hudson.

It will also have an art installation space where the park cuts through the Chelsea Market, formerly a Nabisco factory; and the 10th Avenue Square, an area of steps and ramps at 17th Street where visitors can descend into the lower part of the elevated railway.

An additional $14 million has been designated for a plaza and stairs to the park, still to be designed.

A third and final phase of the High Line, still in the planning stages, involves a half-mile section ringing the railyards north of 30th Street and 12th Avenue. A developer, the Related Companies, won a contract in May to redevelop the railyards with the park as part of its proposal, but who will finance that final phase of the project remains unclear.

Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit group established in 1999, which will eventually manage and operate the High Line in cooperation with the parks department, said the park’s grand opening had not been scheduled but was likely to take place in December or January.

Asked whether the cold months were the best time to open a new park, Mr. Hammond replied that the timing would allow officials — and the public — to acclimate themselves to the new space.

“One of my biggest concerns is over-success,” he said. “It’s not MoMA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/museum_of_modern_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org). It’s not the Sheep Meadow. It’s a relatively small park. One of the advantages of opening the window is, it’s almost like a soft opening. As it gets more beautiful in the spring, we’ll be figuring out how to manage it.

“One of my concerns is it being loved to death in the first few weeks. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about.”

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/25/nyregion/23840789.JPG
A straight walkway, running alongside the railroad tracks, is surrounded by a landscape of native species that once grew spontaneously on the High Line, interspersed with new species that ensure bloom throughout the growing season.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840787.JPG
Steel is cut away and replaced by glass, providing a view up 10th Avenue, and revealing High Line visitors to pedestrians on street level.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840791.JPG
The Sundeck, between 14th and 15th Streets, offers unobstructed views over the Hudson River. Water emerges from the spaces between planks to skim the upper walkway, while on the lower level, rail tracks are reinstalled in plantings derived from the High Line's native landscape.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840799.JPG
The structure steps down to the Hudson River, with oversized wooden deck seating along the railroad tracks on the upper level, and a rail preserve with dense native planting on the lower.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840797.JPG
Access points are located approximately every two to three blocks on Sections 1 and 2 of the High Line. In many locations, these access points include both stairs and elevators.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840801.JPG
Steps and ramps cut into an elevated square over 10th Avenue, allowing visitors to descend into the structure.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840803.JPG
The textured concrete walking surface meanders through tall plantings in the Chelsea Thicket.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/25/nyregion/23840807.JPG
Where the High Line begins to narrow in Chelsea, plantings grow denser, with shrubs and trees adding a variety of textures.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840811.JPG
The High Line's only lawn "peels up" at 23rd Street, where the High Line widens, providing crosstown views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River. A stepped seating feature adds another layer of use to this central gathering area.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840809.JPG
Steps and ramps cut into an elevated square over 10th Avenue, allowing visitors to descend into the structure.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840813.JPG
A metal walkway lifts off from High Line level, allowing the landscape to fill in below. Visitors are lifted into the shady canopy of a sumac forest. Planting here takes advantage of a cooler, shadier condition between tall buildings, where trees originally grew up once the trains stopped running.

stache
June 26th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Some of these walkways don't look very wide. :(

ZippyTheChimp
June 26th, 2008, 10:02 AM
It'll be a Hudson River Park esplanade type facility.

Passive.

No biking, no rollerblading, and (should be) no running.

lofter1
June 26th, 2008, 10:05 AM
The High Line itself isn't all that wide in many places.

Definitey won't be a place to visit on the weekends (if Hudson River Park is any indication).

And just imagine when the stroller moms go up to do some strollin'. :eek:

lofter1
June 26th, 2008, 10:06 AM
No biking, no rollerblading, and (should be) no running.

Dogs?

pianoman11686
June 26th, 2008, 02:31 PM
I can't wait for it to open.

antinimby
June 26th, 2008, 05:10 PM
I don't know why they would allow the weedy "Tree of Heaven" to grow on the High Line.

They should be getting rid of them, not propagating them.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2008/06/25/0625-high/23840813.JPG


Where they would be normally found:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1010/783499759_b12f1c6330_m.jpg http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3295/2595303010_e24e211227.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2519677507_8952297170.jpg?v=0

Ninjahedge
June 27th, 2008, 08:49 AM
^loft^

They won't be allowed to bike, rollerblade, or jog either.

brianac
September 15th, 2008, 07:04 PM
CurbedWire: High Line Going Very Green

Monday, September 15, 2008, by Robert

http://curbed.com/uploads/2008_09_High%20Line%20Planted.jpg

MePa—The Greening of the High Line is going very, very well. A special Curbed Correspondent sends the photo above, showing that things have gone way beyond last week's delivery of perennials (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/09/09/high_line_construction_chronicles_we_have_perennia ls.php): "As seen from the entrance at 10th Avenue and 18th Street, early last evening. Tours were given in advance of a benefit dinner at Craftsteak to benefit Friends of the High Line." Grow little plants. Grow. [CurbedWire Staff]

http://curbed.com/archives/2008/09/15/curbedwire_high_line_going_very_green_franconia_ro oftop_palace_plop_rejected.php

Copyright © 2008 Curbed

ablarc
September 22nd, 2008, 07:03 PM
I don't know why they would allow the weedy "Tree of Heaven" to grow on the High Line.

They should be getting rid of them, not propagating them.
Why?

A weed is simply a plant not intentionally placed by a human being who feels responsible for keeping it up.

The Amazon rain forest consists 100% of weeds.

To the Chinese, it's the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus Altissima). Obviously the Chinese see it with different eyes. Maybe it requires careful cultivation in China.

Locally, we call it "stinkweed." Here, it regards concrete as fertilizer and car fumes are sustenance.

As you correctly point out, places like the High Line viaduct are --in North America-- the Tree of Heaven's natural habitat.

What could be more appropriate?

First intelligent decision I've seen Diller and Scofidio make.

Fabrizio
September 23rd, 2008, 10:28 AM
I always liked those crappy weed plants and they sort of look tropical.

ablarc
September 23rd, 2008, 12:38 PM
They're irrationally hated by most folks because they grow without being intentionally planted; they're the untamed mavericks of the plant kingdom.

Building officials hate them too. I once proposed an office park landscape design that I thought exploited their tropical character and zero-maintenance eagerness to grow to maturity (can almost see them growing!), but the building official haughtily dismissed them. "They're just weeds," he sniffed, "Nobody plants weeds."

That's certainly been true before the High Line, but at least in one instance, it's because it wasn't allowed.

I wonder how many other architects or landscape architects have run into that wall.

TREPYE
September 23rd, 2008, 12:49 PM
Definition of weeds: Any plant that the propietor of land it grows on removes because it does not catch his/her fancy.

ablarc
September 23rd, 2008, 04:29 PM
^ Accurate definition.

Maybe use of these "weeds" on the High Line will cause their promotion to "plants."

Ninjahedge
September 25th, 2008, 09:47 AM
Abl, isn't there something else about them that is difficult?

I am not sure, but sometimes when a plant loves an environment so much, it has a tendency to dominate and crowd the others out.

Also, if you say it grows as fast as it does, that implies more landscaping maintainence to prevent them from going hog-wild (blocking the pathway, etc etc).

Also, what is the root system like? Invasive? How much litter does it generate? (sap, pollen, bark, leaves?).

I know that some plants (black walnut) look great, but are hated because of the toxic (to other plant life) racquetball sized seeds they drop that stain concrete, dent property and kill off other plants.

Is there any reason that these plants are nicknamed "stinkweed"?