As I mentioned in this post, I’ve been a lucky little bunny the last few months and have had the great fortune to travel to some beautiful and exciting cities, including my super-duper favourite – New York City. It’s a city that teems with energy, possibility and of course – great architecture. One place that was firmly on my To Do List was the HIGHLINE PARK. I’ve been following its evolution for a few years but was struggling to imagine how it might look in the flesh. I certainly wasn’t disappointed! On the contrary – aside from being a wonderful place to hang out, it is a real testament to what energetic, dogged and innovative thinking can achieve.
The Highline essentially represents the remnants of an elevated track which was built in New York in the 1930’s to reduce the amount of train traffic on the streets. In 1980 it was de-commissioned and the site remained dormant for almost twenty years. In 1999 the site was earmarked for demolition. A small band of local residents got together and formed “Friends of the High Line”, a community-based non-profit group with the stated aim of preserving the historical structure and turning it into an elevated public park. After much persuasion, negotiation and community work, the project gained support and the site was donated to the “Friends of the Highline” 10 years ago. The team worked with a talented round-up of architects and landscape architects to develop the landscaping and urban design. Phase 2 has just opened and it is truly a miraculous achievement. In addition to the park itself, some wonderful contemporary buildings have sprung up around the existing fabric. I also love the unique views the elevated position offers.