High Line and Hudson Yards

 Chelsea residents and High Line neighbors Joshua David and Robert Hammond founded Friends of The High Line in 1999 with the goal of restoring the elevated tracks to public use. The section  of elevated line from the Garment District up to Penn Station was   converted into a fantastic park with lush landscaping, grassy areas, elevated views, art, and a nice escape from the chaos of the streets below.

 Section One of the Highline Park, opened in 2009, runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street.  Section Two, opened  in 2011  from West 20th Street to West 30th Street in Chelsea, added new landscape elements, and encouraged adjacent condo development. You can read about the these two sections in my older posts ( High Line  Part 1 and High Line part 2)


On September 21, 2014  the final  section  of the park  opened to West 34th street, near the Jacob Javits Center.   The extension brings the total length of the elevated park to 1.45 miles  (2.4 km).



 The final section put the finishing touch on what has become the most successful public-space transformation in the United States, if not the world.  The High Line attracts five million visitors a year, making it the second most visited cultural venue in the city.
 Michael Kimmelman   at "New York Times" said :  " If the newest, last stretch of the High Line doesn’t make you fall in love with New York all over again, I really don’t know what to say.... It’s hard to believe now that some New Yorkers once thought renovating the decrepit elevated rail line was a lousy idea.

Not since Central Park opened in 1857 has a park reshaped New Yorkers’ thinking about public space and the city more profoundly. Like Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Spain, it has spread a dream, albeit largely a pipe dream, around the world: how one exceptional design — in this case, a work of landscape architecture — might miraculously alter a whole neighborhood, even a whole city’s fortunes."

The final section  called  ‘High Line at the Railyards' offers picnic tables, movable levers, ramps, hidden spaces, and curving walkways. 

The vegetation and  planting scheme  attempt to emulate the natural landscape of the highline prior to the park design. 
The Evolution of God


Several original rail switches have been retrofitted with colorful signals, designed to be played with by future visitors."The Evolution of God ", thirteen abstract sculptures by Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas   punctuate the wild, self-seeded landscape of the High Line at the Rail Yards. 



That part of the park curves around Hudson Yards, a mammoth high-rise development that by 2024 will be home to more than a dozen new skyscrapers -   office and apartment towers, at least one of them to rise higher than the Empire State Building.  


In early 2014, real estate firm Massey Knakal announced a conceptual super tall building  with a 1.22 million square feet capacity and 108 stories   on the north side of 34th Street between Hudson Boulevard and Tenth Avenue.    It would be the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere if completed. The 52-story 10 Hudson Yards will be the first tower completed at the site.

It's currently under construction and on track for a late 2015 opening.
No wonder other cities all over the world plan   to create imitations to transform the urban environment   into  their own “parks in the sky”  London may top the list  with a garden bridge over the Thames. San Francisco is constructing a park on the roof of a bus and rail station, Rotterdam is converting an electric railway line built in the early 1900s into an elevated park.
Hudson Yards rendering
Hudson Yards development scheme

The  financial impact of High Line is  massive, attracting $2.2-billion in new economic activity and raising tax revenues by an estimated $980-million over the next two decades.
 There is one funny thing that I'd like to say at the very end of my story.  The New York Times, The New York Daily News, the Associated Press, ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal reported that  both  President Obama and  Mayor Bill de Blasio neglected to visit The High Line. Obama visited New York more than 70 times since 2009 when the first section of High Line was open.

But you should  visit the new High Line at the Rail Yards and see all of the incredible design for yourself above 30th street and 10th avenue!
Or maybe you'd like to invest in the  Hudson Yards - !