Running between West 20th and West 30th Streets, the new section of the High Line is one-half mile long, doubling the length of the public park. New access points are located at West 23rd Street, West 26th Street, West 28th Street, and West 30th Street, supplementing the five existing access points at Gansevoort Street, West 14th Street, West 16th Street, and West 18th Street, and West 20th Street. All access points will be open daily during the public park’s summer operating hours, from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The High Line is fully wheelchair-accessible, with a new elevator located at West 30th Street, and another located at West 23rd Street and scheduled to open by the end of June, supplementing two existing elevators at West 14th Street and West 16th Street.
Traveling mid-block between 10th and 11th Avenues, the new section provides a new kind of urban experience, carrying visitors in close proximity to historic buildings and warehouses, and introducing unique views of the cityscape and architectural landmarks, including the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the New Yorker Hotel. Like the highly-acclaimed first section of the High Line, the design of the new section is inspired by the wild, self-seeded landscape that grew up naturally on the High Line when the trains stopped running in 1980. The design retains the original railroad tracks from the industrial structure and restored steel elements including the High Line’s signature Art-Deco railings. An integrated system of concrete pathways, seating areas and special architectural features blend with naturalistic planting areas to create a singular landscape. The High Line design is a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations (Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf, with support from consultants in lighting design, structural engineering, and many other disciplines. The design team was selected through a competition held by the City of New York and Friends of the High Line in 2004.
The opening of the second section represents a major step forward in providing public access to the entire High Line. The remaining one-third of the High Line wraps around the Hudson Rail Yards, between West 30th and West 34th Streets. Still overgrown with wildflowers and grasses, the final section is owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. In 2010, the City completed the public land-use approval process to acquire this final section of the High Line, and is working with CSX and the underlying property owners on agreements to allow for public access to the High Line at the Rail Yards.
“The High Line is many things – an historic artifact; a unique urban landscape; a social center for a changing neighborhood. But it is also an inspiring example of what can be accomplished when communities and their elected leaders work together for the common good,” said Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond. Friends of the High Line began advocating for the High Line’s reuse as public open space in 1999. In 2002, the Bloomberg Administration endorsed the project. The High Line structure south of 30th Street was donated to the City of New York by CSX Transportation, Inc., in November, 2005. Construction began on the transformation into a public park in 2006.
The total cost for the design and construction of the High Line is $153 million. The cost of the section of the public park that opened today is $66.8 million. Funding for the entire project includes $112.2 million from the City, $20.7 million from the federal government, and $700,000 from the State. Remaining funds were raised by Friends of the High Line or paid by real estate developers pursuant to the Special West Chelsea Zoning District.
High Line and Friends of the High Line Web site: "http://www.thehighline.org":http://thehighline.org
As visitors move north from the Chelsea Grasslands’ prairie-like landscape, a dense planting of flowering shrubs and small trees indicates the beginning of a new section of the park, between West 20th and West 22nd Streets. In the Chelsea Thicket, species like winterberry, redbud, and large American hollies provide year-round textural and color variation. An under-planting of low grasses, sedges, and shade-tolerant perennials further emphasizes the transition from grassland to thicket.
23rd Street Lawn and Seating Steps
The High Line opens to a wider area between West 22nd and West 23rd Streets, where an extra pair of rail tracks once served the loading docks of adjacent warehouses. The extra width in this area was used to create a gathering space, with Seating Steps made of reclaimed teak anchoring the southern end of a 4,900-square-foot lawn. At its northern end, the Lawn “peels up,” lifting visitors several feet into the air and offering views of Brooklyn to the east, and the Hudson River and New Jersey to the west.
Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover
Between West 25th and West 26th Streets, adjacent buildings create a microclimate that once cultivated a dense grove of tall shrubs and trees. Now, a metal walkway rises eight feet above the High Line, allowing groundcover plants to blanket the undulating terrain below, and carrying visitors upward, into a canopy of sumac and magnolia trees. At various points, overlooks branch off the walkway, creating opportunities to pause and enjoy views of the plantings below and the city beyond.
26th Street Viewing Spur
Hovering above the historic rail on the east side of the High Line at West 26th Street, the Viewing Spur’s frame is meant to recall the billboards that were once attached to the High Line. Now the frame enhances, rather than blocks, views of the city. Tall shrubs and trees flank the Viewing Spur’s frame, while a platform with wood benches invites visitors to sit and enjoy views of 10th Avenue and Chelsea.
Between West 26th and West 29th Streets, the landscape of the Wildflower Field is dominated by hardy, drought-resistance grasses and wildflowers, and features a mix of species that ensures variation in blooms throughout the growing season. The simplicity of the straight walkway, running alongside the wildflowers interspersed between the original railroad tracks, allows visitors to appreciate the green axis of the High Line, as it moves through the city.
At West 29th Street, the High Line begins a long, gentle curve toward the Hudson River, signifying a transition to the West Side Rail Yards. The High Line’s pathway echoes the curve, and a long bank of wooden benches sweep westward along the edge of the pathway. Planting beds behinds and in front of the benches line the curve with greenery.
Buro Happold: Structural / MEP Engineering / Robert Silman Associates: Structural Engineering/Historic Preservation / Piet Oudolf: Planting Designer / Pentagram Design, Inc.: Signage / Northern Designs: Irrigation / GRB Services, Inc.: Environmental Engineering/Site Remediation / Philip Habib & Associates: Civil & Traffic Engineering/Zoning & Landuse / Pine & Swallow Associates, Inc.: Soil Science / ETM Associates: Public Space Management / CMS Collaborative: Water Feature Engineering / VJ Associates: Cost Estimating / Code Consultants Professional Engineers: Code Consultants / Control Point Associates, Inc.: Site Surveyor / Municipal Expediting Inc. Expediting.
LiRo/Daniel Frankfurt: Resident Engineer /
SiteWorks Landscape: Construction Management / KiSKA Construction: General Contractor /
Bovis Lend Lease: Construction Management /
Helen Neuhaus & Associates: Community Liaison