The High Line is Open on New Year’s Day

Via ButterFly's Flickr Photostream

Via ButterFly Project's Flickr Photostream

Ring in the new year by strolling the High Line! The park will be open New Year’s Day (regular winter hours of 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM). In case of extreme inclement weather any time this winter, please check our Web site and/or twitter for info on possible delayed or partial openings.

2009 in Pictures

Dear Friends,

2009 has been a remarkable year for the High Line. After spending the spring working on the final stages of construction, we opened the first section of the park in June. Since then, we estimate that nearly 2 million people have visited. We hope you were among these first visitors to the High Line, and that you return again and again in 2010.

The High Line’s first year as a public park has been truly amazing. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite pictures from this incredible, historic year. We hope you enjoy them!

We hope you’ll continue to support the High Line as we prepare for 2010.

Many thanks, and happy New Year,

Park visitors stroll and relax on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck between 14th and 15th Streets. The Sundeck is one of the High Line’s most popular gathering spots, especially for sunbathers on bright summer days, and as a place to watch the sunset. Photo by Iwan Baan

“…The High Line is a hit, and not just with tourists but with New Yorkers who are openly relishing a place where they can reflect and relax enough to get a new perspective on Manhattan.”

—Diane Cardwell, For High Line Visitors, Park is a Railway Out of Manhattan, New York Times

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Where have all the trailers gone?

In addition to all the shoveling the High Line staff did to keep the park open this weekend, our temporary Maintenance & Operations facility has been moved down to the southern entrance of the High Line, at street level. In order to get ready for the joining of Section 1 to Section 2 – (still under construction) – the M&O trailers (where our gardeners, maintenance workers, and Rangers house equipment and offices) were moved 10 blocks south, just west of the Gansevoort Stairway.

Trailer container being lifted off their 20th Street location and moved to ground level at Gansevoort & Washington Streets.

M&O container being lifted off of the 20th Street location and moved to ground level at Gansevoort & Washington Streets. Photo by Jenny Staley.

The trailers and containers were crane-lifted off the High Line and loaded onto flatbed trucks that transported everything to their new southern location, where they will rest until construction for the new Whitney Museum begins at Gansevoort and Washington Street, adjacent to the High Line.

Container being set down into its new location just west of the Gansevoort Entrance.

Container being set down into its new location just west of the Gansevoort Entrance. Photo by Jenny Staley.

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High Line among New York Times’ 2009 Architectural Triumphs

Photo by Librado Romero/The New York Times.

“Despite the fears and anxieties of many [...] that rapacious developers would transform the High Line into a glorified mall,” Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote last week in the New York Times,  “it has already become—just five months after the completion of its first phase—one of the most beloved public spaces in New York.”

In a roundup of bright spots for what the Times calls a triumphal year for architecture, the High Line shines as the quintessential example of hope in New York City’s landscape.  The High Line, Ouroussoff writes, is proof “that an alliance of government officials, activists, architects and landscape designers can sometimes influence a city as much as big-money developers.”

Read the article here.

The First Big Snow

If you haven’t already caught glimpses of the High Line dressed in white, check out the snow-strewn photos that our Maintenance & Operations staff took this weekend.

The Diller - von Furstenberg Sundeck under a white blanket.

In order to clear the snow, the crew used various tools and equipment including: a Bobcat mini-tracker with spinning broom, power brooms, push brooms, snow-blowers, shovels, and eco-friendly ice melt. Brooms (and power brooms) are the best way to remove snow safely and efficiently from the concrete planking and pathways.

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Lab School Chorus Braves the Cold to Bring the Cheer

Photo by Joan Garvin

Last night, students from Chelsea’s NYC Lab School Chorus braved the bitter temperature and biting wind for a holiday concert in the High Line’s Chelsea Market passage. The kids gamely ran through their repertoire, from seasonal selections like “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” to Broadway favorites like “Seasons of Love”, from Rent. Special kudos go to their keyboardist, whose gloveless fingers were looking pretty blue by the end of the set!

To keep the crowd warm, Tom Colicchio’s Craft Sweets brought their creamy hot cocoa and the most addictive gingerbread ever. Thanks to both Craft and the NYC Lab school for bringing holiday cheer to the High Line!

An Award for the High Line

We are proud to announce that the High Line has been bestowed with an award from the U.S. section of the International Association of Art Critics: First Prize for “Best Show in a Public Space.”  I have the honor of accepting this award at a reception at the Guggenheim Museum, alongside esteemed colleagues. A complete list of awardees is here (PDF).  Thank you AICA USA!

Join Your Local Community Board!

The Manhattan Borough President’s office is currently accepting applications for community board membership! Community boards are charged with representing community interests on crucial issues of development, land use, zoning, and city service delivery. Serving on a board is an incredible opportunity to make changes in your community, advise your elected officials on the issues you care about, and be at the forefront of sound community-based planning decisions.

Please join Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for an information meeting to learn about the roles and responsibilities of community board members.

Two community board information sessions will be held:

Thursday, Dec. 17th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, 163 West 125th Street, Room 8A

Monday, Jan. 11th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, 711 West 168th Street

To RSVP for an information session, please call (212) 669-4374 or email RSVP@manhattanbp.org and specify which session you plan to attend.

To find out more about Manhattan’s community boards, learn how to apply for membership, or download an application, visit http://www.mbpo.org. Applications are due by January 15th, 2010.

Elevator Ride

We love this little video of a trip on the 14th Street elevator, posted on Flickr by 24gotham. The recently-opened elevator has quickly become one of our favorite parts of the park, especially in gray weather. As someone in our office said yesterday, “it feels sunny in there.”

Section 2 Construction Update: Plank Delivery

The pathway system's substructure at 28th Street, ready to be planked.

Even on frigid days like last Friday,  with icy winds whipping off the Hudson, our construction team is busy at work building the landscape on Section 2 (20th Street to 30th Street). For weeks now, the team has been laying the substructure for the High Line’s planking system. It’s a painstaking process which involves endless measuring and leveling with a series of tiny shims to make sure the path lies completely flat despite the imperfect surface of the underlying concrete.

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