New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Please Be Gentle

Yesterday, June 8, 2009 was the highly awaited grand opening of the High Line. All the top officials in city government were there for the ribbon cutting - Mayor Bloomberg; Amanda M. Burden, the city planning commissioner; Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner; Scott M. Stringer, Manhattan borough president and City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn.
This project was in the making for 20 years. The idea to save and restore the abandoned elevated freight railroad was first conceived in 1999 by Joshua David, a writer, and Robert Hammond, a painter. The project, named the High Line, broke ground in 2006 and is now an elevated park, converted from a section of the West Side Line, built in the 1930s by the New York Central Railroad and unused since 1980. The railroad actually passed through several buildings - evidence of this still exists. See my entire photo collection here.
The greenway is similar to the Promenade Plantée in Paris, a 4.5 km-long elevated park in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, France, constructed on an abandoned 19th-century railway viaduct. The High Line consists of three sections - the southernmost currently open runs from Gansevoort Street in the West Village to 20th Street. Upon completion, the entire park will extend to 34th Street.
Over 30 projects are planned along its route, such as a new branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art, designed by Renzo Piano.
The design itself is the most artfully created public space I have seen in New York City. The High Line was designed by landscape firm Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio and Renfro. 
Yesterday's "soft" opening was pleasant with a small number of visitors. Once its opening is generally know, there is a concern of overuse - the design work is beautiful but delicate and rather fragile. The parkway is only 30 to 60 feet wide. If necessary, entry to the park maybe limited. I recommend visiting - please be gentle ...

11 comments:

Spudsmama said...

Thank you, Brian, for these wonderful photos! I use your blog for my daily New York fix, and I'll be adding a stroll on the Highline during my next visit in August.

Mary

Michelle Johnson said...

Great photos Brian. The artwork is definitely delicate looking and eye catching. I have friends in NY that I hope to someday visit and would love to add this to my list of things to see. Have a great day.

alex said...

Wow ! It's a great project.
I heard about it a long time ago and when I visited NY last year, I was looking for it.
When I went t Chelsea, I saw these old railroads and guess they could be a part of this project.
It looks so beautiful !

Mary (clove spice) said...

Looks nice. I imagine there are no dogs allowed. Would you know for sure?

Shantaram said...

Brian, that's a nice report - and I look forward to getting on to the High Line sometime soon!

long island gal said...

the place is very overwhelming with beauty. Me and my family have been there already. It is really fantastic. Hope there will be more like this to some places. At least the unused place became a beauty and brought joys to a lot of people.

David L. said...

Having been dazzled by the Promenade Plantée, I've been really looking forward to the opening of the High Line. But I'm very disappointed in the images I've seen so far. Why leave the old RR tracks? So crude! It looks like the plantings are a minor part of the design. NYC needs green, peaceful areas, not sterile architectural renderings. Hope I'm wrong...I'll see for myself in a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty cool. Probably cost a kaboodle, but if I get past that, it is quite an amenity for the city.

I always enjoy both your photos and your commentary. Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian!
You didn't mentioned Piet Oudolf...
Is there any news about him?
Thanks:Monica

Brian Dubé said...

Thanks for the tip. There is a link here at the highline site: http://www.thehighline.org/design/planting-design
and here at his Piet's site:
http://www.oudolf.com/piet-oudolf

Khalid said...

wow! after living in New York for years, finally when I'm about to leave they open the Highline. I'm sure to visit once the crowd has subsided.