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Thread: The High Line: elevated railroad in Chelsea

  1. #181
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    from www.nypost.com
    RAIL SHOT AT PROSPERITY
    HIGH LINE PLAN A $174M BOOST

    By TOM TOPOUSIS

    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.

  2. #182
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    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:



    From the website: http://www.thehighline.org/newslette...6.html#story01

    DECEMBER 7: PUBLIC FORUM ON THE FUTURE OF THE HIGH LINE AT THE WEST SIDE RAIL YARDS

    ...

    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.


  3. #183
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Public Forum: Saving the Northern End of the High Line

    blogchelsea.com
    December 8, 2006

    Last night at Chelsea Market, Friends of the High Line 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 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—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, 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 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.”

  4. #184
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    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.

  5. #185
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    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


    A selection of Joel Sternfeld's photographs from the Walking the High Line series will be on view through December 15 at the Caledonia 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)

  6. #186
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    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?

  7. #187

    Default Ped bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    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 goinng to pier 57 I was hoping to see that Happen. OH,,,, Sweeeet post btw
    Last edited by infoshare; December 9th, 2006 at 10:54 AM. Reason: add link

  8. #188
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #189

    Default Connectivity

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    "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 ........ 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.

  10. #190
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    High Line Update: SHoP's Shimmering New Vision

    curbed.com
    Monday, December 11, 2006, by Lockhart

    Looking west along 30th Street at some point in the future ...



    While Friends of the High Line digs in on its fight to preserve the upper 31% 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. 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? [Daily Intel]
    · High Line Update: Existence of New Plans Confirmed! [Curbed]

  11. #191

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    This projects only gets better and better... I hope the organization is successful in acquiring the remaining part of the ROW.

  12. #192

    Question underneath...

    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?

  13. #193
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    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!

  14. #194

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    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

  15. #195
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    Those huge structures for the Standard Hotel have everyone craning there necks as they go by.

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