Friday, July 03, 2009

The High Line

Partner and I took an early morning walk to checkout this great new park in our neighborhood.

On the edge of West Chelsea, an elevated rail track runs alongside and through several buildings. The tracks were built in 1929 to service the small factories and businesses along this formerly industrial area of the city close to what had been a series of working docks.

Last month, the High Line opened to the public, a public-private collaboration to turn the elevated tracks into a public garden, a large scale installation that along with the nearby Hudson River Park brings more green space to a part of the city lacking in parks.

In the beauty salon in "Steel Magnolias" there is a needlepoint that states "There is no such thing as natural beauty." The High Line preserves many of the original tracks as well as the weediness/wildness of the plantings that existed there before it was turned into a park. The architects also played off of the original wildness through plantings and hardscape features.

With all new plantings, the look as if these variety of plants just happened to sprout up on the old tracks.

A peak at the Hudson River and Chelsea Piers.

Walking above traffic, this is a much quieter passage for pedestrians. This spur shows how hard the designers worked to keep everything looking natural.

This amphitheater is where the highline crosses 10th Avenue. Glass plates were installed to allow pedestrians to sit and look up 10th Avenue. It sounds odd, but most New Yorkers do not look around when they are walking at street level. They are mostly moving while trying to avoid other pedestrians, bicyclists, automobile traffic, skateboarders and other potential dangers.

This is looking south. towards the Meat Packing District where the park starts.

Open areas on the highline looking north.

This is at the W. 20th St. Exit looking east on W. 20th. General Seminary is on the left side of the block.

This is where the park ends. Work will continue north between W. 20th St. and W. 30th St. There is some possibility that the extension between W. 30th and W. 34th will be included, but it is caught between the MTA and private developers who are planning a major development over the westside railroad yards.

1 comment:

Alison said...

What a great idea! I wish I had known about this during our recent NYC visit. We stayed in Chelsea, and our hotel room did have a view of a few nice rooftop gardens. This will be good to remember for next time.