In the middle of Manhattan’s west side roads, a new park has opened its gates, built on an old elevated railway. Get off the streets and start aiming high - as in rooftop high.
Described by The New York Times as a “subtle play between contemporary and historical design, industrial decay and natural beauty sets”, the High Line Park opened its gates on June 9th, far above Manhattan’s West Side ground.
The Park, has been built on the 'High Line' - a 1.45-mile-long elevated structure, built eighty years ago to carry the city's freight trains.
Designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations (http://www.fieldoperations.net/), with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro http://www.dillerscofidio.com), the new Park provides a long wooden sidewalk surrounded by a naturalistic garden in the middle of New York, on a monument to the city's industrial history.
High Line Park is not complete yet. The old railway has been divided into three sections. Section 1, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, has just opened; Section 2, from 20th Street to 30th Street, is projected to open in 2010. To date, there is not as yet a scheduled date for the final section's completion.
The project has been initiated by a community-based organization called Friends of The High Line, with strong attention to details and preservation. The High Line's Art-Deco railings have been restored, and in some places railroad tracks have been returned to their original locations. Energy-efficient LED lighting elements have been integrated at eye level into the High Line's railings which illuminate the park's pathways at night, allowing the visitor’s eyes to adjust to the ambient light of the surrounding city sky.
Friends of the High Line are raising money to finish building the garden and to hire gardeners and maintenance groups crew to keep the park’s plantings and trees in peak condition.
You can support the park by making a donation or becoming a High Line member. Different kinds of membership levels are available, from “student” to “preservationist”.
For more information about the garden www.thehighline.org