The High Line - New York City
On Monday July 11th, 2016, I visited the High Line in Manhattan. This trek was truly an amazing experience and is recommended to anyone who lives and/or visits the Big Apple. The revitalization of this old railroad line into an "aerial garden" is breathtaking.
|At the 30th Street Entrance|
|Skyscraper Construction permeated the surroundings|
A perfect day for enjoying the High Line: sunny with a breeze - it was beautiful!
|The High Line itself is stunning|
|...it's like walking in one long garden|
|In many spots the rails were left intact|
|The gardener's path is visible below|
|For parts of the Line you are right next to the buildings|
|Some industry still exists|
|All along the Line there are shady, secluded spots to sit and relax|
|A glance back|
|There are artwork displays scattered along the way|
(this is made from discarded tires!)
|It was cool in the shade under these "tunnels"|
|In the heart of an urban environment yet refreshingly different! :-)|
|A NYC "parking solution" off to the side|
|At the turn the High Line, it is nice and wide|
|Wishful thinking? I kept my eyes peeled but none were out today :-)|
Kinda hard to tell from the photo but up ahead is a glass window and an "amphitheater" for people watching...
|At the amphitheater. It faces north|
|I took a selfie - someone nearby made me laugh|
(or was I just ecstatic being in such an amazing spot?)
|In this building walk through are souvenir booths and a cafe.|
All very tastefully "zoned"
|The "old" NYC is still present|
|The "nude sunbather"|
A realistic statue that had everybody gawking and smiling!
|The "new" NYC loomed high all around|
|Oo yeah - more rails!|
|Remnants of the "old "NYC|
This was the front edifice of a pier building no longer in existence
|Straight ahead - through the forest!|
|Rail crossing (a "frog")|
(Scroll down this link for Frog info if interested)
|This is the end of the High Line|
|Close Up of the rails|
The Way BackOn the way back, I took a few more photos...
|This was a spur that went right into the building - kinda cool!|
|Looking north - the lawn and mini amphitheater|
(benches on left)
Mini Video of the spot below...
From 30th to 34th Street
Once past where I first entered, the High Line continues on a long sweeping curve to 34th Street. Much of this stretch is still being "developed"...
|How cool is this? The walkway is between the rails....|
|Looking west out toward the Hudson.|
|Penn Station rail yard|
|The end of the line on 34th street|
About the High Line
The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenue.
“A city that had once pioneered so many technological and urban planning solutions, that had dazzled the world with its public works, its skyscrapers, bridges, subways, water-delivery system, its Central Park, palatial train stations, libraries and museums, [currently] appears unable to undertake any innovative construction on a grand scale, and is now consigned to cannibalizing its past and retrofitting it to function as an image, a consumable spectacle.”- Phillip Lopate, director of the MFA nonfiction program at Columbia University.
|New York City Railroads c. 1900|
(By James R. Irwin - Own work)
|“West Side Cowboy”, 1934. [Photographer unknown]|
On June 28, 1934, the city and railroad held a special dedication ceremony for the new elevated route and the huge new freight station: St. John’s Park Freight Terminal. The terminal covered three city blocks, could handle 14 freight elevators, and serviced 150 trucks. The entire route, all double-tracked from 30th Street to St. John’s Park, was 13 miles long and cost more than $150 million. The New York Central also electrified the corridor but the electric was later abandoned in favor of diesel-electric locomotives.
One unique aspect of the High Line is that it was built in the middle of the block: “in between the buildings” so to speak. Massive industrial-sized buildings could absorb a rail line running right through them and could profit from proximity for quick and easy freight deliveries.
|View north from West 17th Street, 1934. [Photographer unknown]|
“With the completion of the West Side Improvement, of which this viaduct is one of the more important features, West Side manufacturers, distributors and merchants in general will have transportation facilities unsurpassed anywhere. …Tenants can bring in their raw materials and ship out their finished products swiftly, safely and efficiently over rails at their very doors.” - F.E. Williamson,president of New York Central, at a dedication ceremony for the West Side ViaductAlthough factories and packing houses did indeed congregate around and benefit from the line, by the 1960s, trucks and airplanes had cut significantly into the rail freight business and the rail line was operating deeply in the red. The southern part of the structure was soon dismantled and sadly the last freight delivery on the remaining northern part of the line took place in 1980.
“Much of the High Line’s present magic stems from its passing though an historic industrial cityscape roughly the same age as the viaduct, supplemented by private tenement backyards and the poetic grunge of taxi garages. It would make a huge difference if High Line walkers were to feel trapped in a canyon of spanking new high-rise condos, providing antlike visual entertainment for one’s financial betters lolling on balconies…”- Phillip Lopate, director of the MFA nonfiction program at Columbia University.
Source Material and Further InfoHigh Line History
Preserving the Legacy of America's Railroads
Friends of the High Line
High Line - New York City (Wikipedia)
West Side Line - NYCRR (Wikipedia)
^ Note: Empire Connection
Empire Corridor (Wikipedia)
Freedom Tunnel (Wikipedia)
Video: High Line History
Narrated by Ethan Hawke
Above Grade: On the High Line (Essay)
This is a great article!
A native New Yorker traces the pre-history of the High Line, and ponders whether the celebrated park will be a victim of its success.
Looking Back at The History of The High Line in NYC