It’s hard to believe the High Line was once destined for demolition. Built on a historic and elevated rail line, the community and City of New York rallied together and converted one of New York City’s most notorious spot into public green space. Since its opening in 2009, this popular attraction is often decorated with pretty young things sauntering along the elevated public space weaving 24 blocks through the lower west side.
A popular tourist and local hotspot, there are many quiet pockets to admire the spectacle of the bustling below and to enjoy the birds-eye views into the surrounding buildings.
More than just a park, every visit is unique with an ever-changing view of the city below, above and all around. Many consider The Highline a performance in itself – adorned with art installations, live shows, tasty food and gatherings. A global inspiration for cities to transform unused industrial zones in dynamic public spaces. Plus a few friendly “locals.”
10th Avenue became known as Death Avenue as by 1910, 540 people had been killed by trains. In 1924, street-level crossings were removed and later converted into an elevated rail line. By 1934, and named the West Side Elevated Line, the line was used for transporting meat, dairy and produce.
In 1999, and with parts of the line demolished and deemed an eyesore Mayor Giuliani signed a demolition order. Luckily, the not-for-profit Friends of the High Line advocated for its preservation and reuse as a public space.
A decade later, the first section opened to the public and began the trend of commissioning and producing artworks and by 2014, the Rail Yards section opened with a temporary walkway.
Now it’s a continuous 1.45 mile long greenway showcasing 500+ species of plants and trees and is home to world-class artwork, food and performances. The High Line is free and best way to enjoy it is to simply meander, pause and linger.
Once it’s safe to travel internationally again, I can’t wait to explore this iconic New York City spot once again.
The High Line is back open – BYO mask! If you’d like to know more or to make a donation please click here.