Great News for the High Line at the Rail Yards

Photo courtesy Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography.

We’re pleased to bring you news of another major milestone towards the full preservation of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards. The Department of City Planning announced today that it has certified the City’s application for approval of future acquisition of the High Line above 30th Street.

Read the full Press Release [PDF]

This certification kicks off the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), during which there will be several opportunities for public input. Along the way, we hope you will come out and show your support for the High Line’s preservation, as you have so many times before. We will push for the City to take ownership of the High Line and ensure that its future is determined by the public.

Though today’s announcement does not guarantee preservation of the High Line, the City’s move toward High Line acquisition is a major positive step towards achieving our ultimate goals: full preservation of the historic structure north of 30th Street, including the 10th Avenue Spur, and completion of the High Line project all the way to 34th Street.

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Herbal Remedies on the High Line

American Coneflower in bloom below the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck.

Feeling under the weather? According to High Line gardener Kyla Dippong, the park is a “veritable pharmacy.”  Many of Section 1’s 210 species of plants offer simple remedies, quite a few of which were used by Native Americans long before the advent of the pharmacy as we know it today.

As you continue to battle the cold and flu season, here are a few of our favorite medicinal plants to keep in mind, most of which can be found easily in your local drugstore or herbal remedy shop (but NOT by picking them off the High Line).

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Iwan Baan, Architectural Photographer

An aerial shot, taken from the Standard Hotel. Photo by Iwan Baan.

This weekend, the New York Times ran a profile of international architectural photographer Iwan Baan. Iwan took a beautiful series of High Line photos in our first season, and we agree that there’s something groundbreaking about his style. Fred Bernstein of the Times writes:

Mr. Baan sees buildings as backdrops for his photographs of people, he said during a recent visit to New York. Looking at a picture of the new Cooper Union building in the East Village, designed by Mr. Mayne, Mr. Baan said, “It’s about the woman shuffling down the street.” His work owes as much to Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson as to Julius Shulman or Ezra Stoller, the pre-eminent architectural photographers of the late 20th century.

Structural Integrity and People, Too [New York Times]

Click through for some of Iwan’s shots of the High Line.

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It’s Friday, Let’s Watch a Video!

Video journalist Larry Closs visited the High Line this fall and put together this lovely little travel piece. He highlights some of the park’s most popular features, and talks with Co-Founder Robert Hammond about the inspiration behind the park.

Enjoy!

In Memory of Clare Weiss

The staff of Friends of the High Line was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Clare Weiss, the Parks Department’s Curator of Public Art, on January 11, 2010.  During her tenure at Parks from 2005 to 2009, Clare helped organize 128 outdoor public art exhibitions, as well as 36 exhibits at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park.  She was a charter member of the High Line’s Public Art Advisory Committee, which selected the High Line’s first public art installation—Spencer Finch’s The River That Flows Both Ways.  Clare worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this city culturally richer and more dynamic.  Her contributions and her spirit will be sorely missed.

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney, New York City Parks & Recreation

Section 2: Screed Concrete Pour!

Workers pour screed concrete over a layer of wire mesh. Photo by Tim Schenck.

Section 2 construction is on a roll!

If you visit the park and peer through the chain-link fence at 20th Street, you’ll notice some work happening on the surface of the High Line in the blocks to the north. The construction team has installed wire mesh above the lower (structural) concrete surface.  The mesh provides bonding, flexibility, and additional strength to a 2″ – 3″ layer of “screed concrete” on the deck. This screed concrete will then be waterproofed, and the landscape installed on top.

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Section 2 Construction: 30th Street Entrance

New space for the 30th Street Entrance. Photo by Patrick Cullina.

The latest on the High Line’s next section: the construction team recently removed FOURTEEN TONS of steel up at 30th Street to make way for the future stairs and elevator.

When Section 2 opens, 30th Street will be the northernmost access point on the High Line, at least until the Rail Yards section is built.  The entrance is located right at “the curve”, where the High Line begins its iconic sweep westward towards the Hudson River.

Like the stairs at Gansevoort Street and 14th Street, the 30th Street stairs will cut through the structure, bringing visitors face-to-face with the High Line’s steel beams and rivets. Click through for a rendering.

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Viewing Station: New Art Piece by Richard Galpin to Debut in May

A rendering of the view through the viewing screen, part of a new work by Richard Galpin, courtesy of the artist.

We’re pleased to announce an upcoming piece in our High Line Art program, an ongoing series of commissions and collaborations. This May, a new work entitled Viewing Station will debut by artist Richard Galpin, who is best known for his altered and abstract photographs of cityscapes.

For the High Line, Galpin will create a “viewing station” that will provide a manipulated view of the High Line’s surroundings, recalling the artist’s abstract photographic work.  Park visitors will look through a viewing apparatus lined up with a metal screen from which geometric shapes have been cut. One of the wonderful experiences the High Line has provided to visitors is a new vista of Manhattan.  Galpin’s artwork will offer a novel reconsideration of our surroundings.

This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr.

Read more about Richard Galpin’s Work

We Love Our Tretorn Boots!

Boot-modeling at the Tenth Avenue Square.

To help our us get through the long, cold, and sometimes wet hours on the High Line this winter, the lovely folks at Swedish company Tretorn have donated several pairs of their warm and rugged rubber boots to our Maintenance & Operations and Administrative staff. According to their web site, “Tretorn celebrates a lifestyle largely lived outside.” Whether we’re shoveling snow, leading tours, or simply walking the High Line for some fresh air at lunchtime, we couldn’t agree more!

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Meet Maeve Turner, High Line Gardener

Maeve Turner using the Dosatron (affectionately named 'Dosie' by the Horticulture staff) to apply compost tea to specific areas of the High Line.

Maeve, one of our five full-time gardeners, has been on staff since the High Line’s opening this past June.  Originally from England, Maeve grew up in Westfield, New Jersey, and first discovered her love for gardening while working at Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard, where she helped out with everything from seeding to planting to weeding.  After Morning Glory, Maeve completed an internship at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (which she says was “awesome”), then worked for a private gardening company.  Each job, she says, was a unique experience, and affirmed that gardening is the work environment she enjoys most.

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