Architecture

Northernmost section of New York's High Line opened

High Line at the Rail Yards is the third and northernmost section of the High Line to be opened (Photo: Iwan Baan)
High Line at the Rail Yards is the third and northernmost section of the High Line to be opened (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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High Line at the Rail Yards is the third and northernmost section of the High Line to be opened (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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High Line at the Rail Yards is the third and northernmost section of the High Line to be opened (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The High Line is an urban reuse project in New York (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The High Line is an urban reuse project in New York (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The High Line is a 1.45 mi (2.33 km) long public park created on an old raised rail freight line (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The High Line is a 1.45 mi (2.33 km) long public park created on an old raised rail freight line (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Following the opening of the High Line at the Rail Yards, it now stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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Following the opening of the High Line at the Rail Yards, it now stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street (Photo: Iwan Baan)
High Line at the Rail Yards features familiar elements from other parts of the park such as the "peel-up" benches, viewing spots and pathways (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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High Line at the Rail Yards features familiar elements from other parts of the park such as the "peel-up" benches, viewing spots and pathways (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The Rail Track Walks section leaves the old freight tracks exposed as a link to the structure's history (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The Rail Track Walks section leaves the old freight tracks exposed as a link to the structure's history (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The 11th Avenue Bridge provides a raised area from which visitors can view the park, the city and the Hudson River (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The 11th Avenue Bridge provides a raised area from which visitors can view the park, the city and the Hudson River (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The Interim Walkway is a walkway flanked by the self-seeded wildflowers, native grasses and shrubs that had taken over the High Line prior to its redevelopment (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The Interim Walkway is a walkway flanked by the self-seeded wildflowers, native grasses and shrubs that had taken over the High Line prior to its redevelopment (Photo: Iwan Baan)
High Line at the Rail Yards offers views of the Hudson River (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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High Line at the Rail Yards offers views of the Hudson River (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Visitors are able to make use of seating areas to relax (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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Visitors are able to make use of seating areas to relax (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The High Line is used for relaxing, recreation, group meet-ups and walking tours (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The High Line is used for relaxing, recreation, group meet-ups and walking tours (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The High Line winds through New York and was under threat of demolition before it was saved by the Friends of the High Line group (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The High Line winds through New York and was under threat of demolition before it was saved by the Friends of the High Line group (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Over 20 million people had visited the High Line as of July 2014 (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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Over 20 million people had visited the High Line as of July 2014 (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The High Line’s design is a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The High Line’s design is a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Over 450 programs and activities take place at the High Line every year (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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Over 450 programs and activities take place at the High Line every year (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The remaining sections of the High Line at the Rail Yards are expected to take 10-15 years to complete (Photo: Iwan Baan)
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The remaining sections of the High Line at the Rail Yards are expected to take 10-15 years to complete (Photo: Iwan Baan)

The third section of New York's iconic High Line was opened at the weekend. The High Line is a 1.45 mile (2.33 km) long public park created on an old raised rail freight line. Following the opening of the High Line at the Rail Yards, it now stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street.

The idea for the High Line came about in 1999 when the old freight line was in danger of demolition. The non-profit Friends of the High Line group was set up to focus on preserving the structure and, 15 years on, it oversees the maintenance, operations and public programming for the park.

Not only has the redevelopment of the High Line created a unique public space, it has become a model for urban reuse. The development has inspired a host of similar schemes across the world, including Sydney, Australia's, Goods Line and the Friends of the Flyover project in Liverpool, UK.

The High Line is an urban reuse project in New York (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The High Line is an urban reuse project in New York (Photo: Iwan Baan)

The newly opened High Line at the Rail Yards section is the northernmost section of the High Line. It features familiar elements from other parts of the park such as the "peel-up" benches, viewing spots and pathways, as well as a number of new aspects.

At the northern end of the High Line is the Interim Walkway. Intended as a temporary feature, this section has yet to be remodeled and is a walkway flanked by the self-seeded wildflowers, native grasses and shrubs that had taken over the High Line prior to its redevelopment.

The Rail Track Walks section leaves the old freight tracks exposed as a link to the structure's history (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The Rail Track Walks section leaves the old freight tracks exposed as a link to the structure's history (Photo: Iwan Baan)

The Pershing Square Beams section sees the concrete deck of the High Line stripped away to reveal the original framework of steel beams and girders. Here, children can explore and climb around the raised and sunken areas, and a number of play elements that have been included.

The 11th Avenue Bridge provides a raised area from which visitors can view the park, the city and the Hudson River, the Rail Track Walks section leaves the old freight tracks exposed as a link to the structure's history and 30th Street Grove provides a secluded seating and group space. Finally, the Radial bench is a long bank of benches with plating either side of it and Wildflower Field features a mix of wildflowers that will bloom throughout the growing season.

Visitors are able to make use of seating areas to relax (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Visitors are able to make use of seating areas to relax (Photo: Iwan Baan)

The remaining phases of construction for the High Line at the Rail Yards will see the completion of the 10th Avenue Spur and the redevelopment of the Interim Walkway. It is expected to be completed in 10-15 years time.

Source: The High Line, NYC Parks

4 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think this is a great way to bring some green to the big city and give people someplace to go away from the traffic.
Slowburn
Am I the only one that finds it ludicrous that a perfectly good route for moving people around the city was abandoned.
Martin Winlow
I'm very puzzled as to why the designers have left so much of the original steelwork embedded in this 'path'. Not only do they look unattractive, they are a waste of resources and it will only be a question of time before someone hurts themselves falling off or over something (like the person in the picture balancing on one of the rails) and sues the city. Surely, someone has not done a proper risk assessment on the design? There is no way in the UK that such a muddled collection of industrial equipment and civic amenity would be permitted for this very reason. Also, why is there no cycle path facility incorporated into the design (with a nod to Slowburn's comment)? There is plenty of room for both pedestrian and cycle paths as well as a physical barrier to separate the two. It looks to me like form has won out over function - always the sign of poor design. A badly wasted opportunity in my view. MW
Gadgeteer
Slowburn, The High Line was never a passenger route. It connected several warehouses and slaughterhouses. There are no stations for boarding. It's also not very long. No connections whatsoever to the subway system. Unfortunately, most hours of the day, it doesn't look anything like the renderings. It's usually packed to the gills.
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