Manhattan’s Elevated Park: The High Line
The 1.45 mile long public park sits thirty feet above street level along Manhattan’s west side, stretching from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District north to 34th Street. The elevated train tracks were originally built in the 1930’s as a response to the high number of accidents between freight trains and street traffic that earned 10th Avenue the nickname Death Avenue. Freight traffic ceased using the elevated railway in 1980.
By the mid-1980’s activists and railroad enthusiasts began fighting against demolition of the High Line and in 1999 Friends of the High Line, a non-profit organization, began advocating for its reuse as a public park. The first section of the High Line, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, opened to the public in 2009. The open-air, elevated park is designed as an integrated landscape that incorporates the structural features of the original railroad tracks into the new layout. Highlights include movable wooden lounge chairs that roll along the old tracks, stadium style seating overlooking 17th Street, seasonally landscaped gardens and numerous public art works.
Section 1 Entrances: Gansevoort Street, 14th Street (elevator access), 18th Street (elevator access) & 20th Street
Section 2 (extending up to 30th Street) scheduled to open in 2011