Monday, January 28, 2013

The Next Level

Executive summary by darmansjah

The High Line ends to soon. At 30th Street, the ‘Viewing Spur’ – an empty billboard frame that affords views over the surrounding neighbourhood – overlooks a temporary roller-skating rink and active railyards to the west of Penn Station. At the park’s end is a chainlink fence, but the High Line itself stretches on another half a mile to West 34th Street, its green, overgrown expanse still untamed.

Soon it won’t be necessary to stop here and descend to street level. The High Line’s third and final phase has been planned for completion in 2014, just in time for the original’s 80th birthday. Costing US$70m, it will curve west toward the Hudson River and terminate at 34th Street.

Other projects will continue to pop up as this one invigorates the whole area. Even now, constructions are appearing along the structure’s length, not least the US$345m Whitney Museum of American Art, presaging a new cultural anchor downtown. The High Line has come along way from that community meeting in 1999, when the structure looked certain to be destroyed. ‘Josh and I had no experience,’ says Robert, ‘not just with elevated railroads but with urban redevelopment in general. I hope this project proves that It’s possible for people to look around their own neighbourhoods, and if they see something worth saving, to make a difference.

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