Can you imagine a park 1.45 miles long and over 20 feet
above street level? That’s what the High Line is; a public park in New
York City, built on an elevated rail structure running from Gansevoort Street
to 34th Street on Manhattan’s West Side.
Since 2009, the High Line has served as an urban oasis to an
area that formerly got little attention from locals and tourists alike. What
today is an elevated park was once a freight rail line that operated from 1934
to 1980. It was used to carry meat to the meatpacking district, agricultural
goods to the factories and warehouses of the industrial West Side, and mail to
the central Post Office. But finally, after many years in disrepair, in
2009 the High Line was reincarnated as an urban greenway.
Today you can walk, play, and relax in this innovative park
that has not only caused buzz all around the world but also prompted other
cities to revamp their underutilized urban spaces.
The High Line was designed by the team of James Corner Field
Operations (landscape), and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture). Together
they created a public space that blends the former train tracks, plant life and
landscaping (reminiscent of the wildscape that once grew on the unused tracks),
and long narrow “planks” that form a smooth linear park.
The High Line contains viewing platforms that look to the
Hudson River, Manhattan’s skyline, and even the streets and avenues of the
city; in addition to a sundeck, gathering areas are used for performances, art
exhibitions, and educational programs.
What follows are images of the park, some of its best
moments, and details.
First and foremost, one of the greatest things the High Line
has is the Chelsea Market. It is officially not part of the park, but the
entrance to the park is right next to it. Have lunch at the Chelsea Market
Passage or at the 10th Avenue Square, or buy snacks to have a picnic at the
park. Chelsea Market is right under the High Line on 14th Street.
A view of the underside of the former rails. Today
these big beams hold the park above ground. Also, here you have a peek at
the stair that leads up to the park.
One of the things that make the High Line such a unique park
is its modern, contemporary design that blends well landscape with
When the park opened back in 2009, the landscape still
needed a bit more time to fully express the design intentions, but as you’ll
see below, a few years after, the same space already feels different and more
like an urban park.
Following the former tracks, the High Line crosses above,
under, and in between buildings. It almost feels like walking on an
elevated sidewalk since you can actually enter to some of these buildings from
The view of the top of the Empire State Building from the
park, as well as the iconic water tanks that once topped most lower Manhattan
A close up of the former rail tracks that are now covered
with landscape and greenery.
A close view of the landscape in contrast with the urban
scape around the park.
During the day, you can sun tan in one of the rail-mounted
benches, or you can just chill out at in the afternoon to watch the sunset or
The view of 14th Street from the park.
Finally, the sunset. New York might not be the place
on everyone’s list to watch the sunset, but when you’re up on the High Line,
watching the sunset becomes a bit more special and beautiful.
Have you’ve been on the High Line? What did you like
or what would you like to see there?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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