A Little Rain Never Hurt Anybody

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Today’s blog post was guest written by one of our new Greeters, Claudia Berger.

Today I was on the High Line for its first morning in operation. I was very impressed by how determined people were to see it– not even the rain could stop them. Visitors braved the rain, but none of them felt it wasn’t worth it. The morning attracted not only die-hard fans of the High Line, but some curious opponents. However, even in the rain, they could not help but enjoy it. One visitor told me she was determined to hate the High Line, but spent her time up there in awe. She loved it, rain and all.

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Best of the High Line Blog

The High Line is well on its way to becoming New York’s first park in the sky, with plants taking root in late summer and the first section on schedule to open by the end of 2008. Keep up to date with the High Line’s progress here on the Blog, written by Friends of the High Line’s staff members:

Design!

Our new Design Video, produced by Brooklyn Digital Foundry, and made possible by the Trust for Architectural Easements.

Slide show of Sections 1 and 2 Design

Designing the High Line, our brand new design publication is now for sale on Amazon.com

Construction!

Site Photography: Planking Installation

Action-Packed Construction Update

Photo of the Week: Peel-Up Benches

History!

History Video, Narrated by Ethan Hawke

Chelsea: 1986

Westbeth High Line Section

Community News!

Chalk Shoes to the High Line

Florent: Don’t Cry for Me

Field Ops to Design the Country’s Largest Urban Park

Student-Run Farmer’s Market at PS 11 in Chelsea

And last but not least, the High Line’s favorite compatriot:

David Beckham!

David Beckham Bears All for the High Line, “Parts” 1 and 2

High Line Horticulture Walk: Only a Few Spots Left

It’s not too late to join us and Alex Feleppa, director of horticulture for the Horticultural Society of New York, for a naturalist walk on the rail yards section of the High Line. The walks are this Saturday, June 7 (there are three sessions.)

We’re not usually able to bring people up to the High Line, so this is a rare chance to see it in its natural state.

Space is extremely limited and there are only a few slots left. Once they are full, you will be able to add yourself to the wait list, and we’ll contact you if there’s a cancellation.

The cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Of course, you can always become a member to get early notice and discounts on programs like this in the future.

Buy Tickets Here

 

Lab School 7th-Graders Design the High Line

 

Yesterday, Jeff and I had the honor of judging the Second Annual High Line Design Competition at the Lab School in Chelsea.  The competition is the culmination of a multi-week geometry unit in two of Ms. Rodriguez and Ms. Whelan’s math and science classes that uses the High Line as a model for teaching the students about scale, ratio, and area.  All of the student’s designs for the High Line had to be to scale, incorporate native plants and grasses, and honor High Line planning principals.

More photos after the jump.

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Join Us at the Opening of Chalk Shoes to the High Line

Tomorrow night at the Leo Kesting Gallery, we will fete the opening of Chalk Shoes to the High Line, a show documenting the April 16 performance led by artist Julia Mandle that featured 60 8th-graders from the Lab School in Chelsea.  The students donned shoes made from green chalk and scuffed lines along the sidewalks of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, ending at future High Line access points.  The exhibition that opens tomorrow and runs through May 21 will feature rows of the used shoes, photographs taken by the kids, and a video of the performance by Matt Wolf.

Chalk Shoes to the High Line
Leo Kesting Gallery
812 Washington Street (near Gansevoort)

Opening: Thursday, May 15 6:00-8:00PM

Tomorrow’s opening party also kicks off Meatpacking District Design Week, happening Thursday through Sunday in venues around the Meatpacking District.  See you there!

I Sketched the High Line

… And so can you! There are still a few spots remaining for the remaining Sketching the High Line classes with artist Ann DeVere.

Last Saturday was the first class, and it was a really wonderful experience. Ann led us through a series of warm-up exercises to get our creative juices flowing, and then we sat for few longer sketches, observing and recording the unique viewpoint we had of the High Line and its surroundings.

Don’t miss this great opportunity!

There are spaces available for the following dates: May 10, May 17, and May 31; click here to sign up. All classes begin at 11 am and end at 12:30 pm. These classes are identical, so registration is only permitted for one class. Members receive a discount; click here for more information about becoming a member. More photos after the jump.

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to Sketch the High Line

There are just a few spots left for our weekend sketching classes on the rail yards section of the High Line this month!  The classes will be led by fantastic artist and printmaker Ann deVere, and all art supplies will be provided.  No innate drawing talent or prior experience is required.  Ann started giving these classes a few years ago at Wave Hill, and developed a huge following, so we feel very lucky to have her on board.  This is a rare opportunity to visit the High Line, so grab your spot now!

Saturday May 3, 10, 17, and 31 (please choose only one)
11:00-12:30PM
$25 Members
$50 Non-Members

RSVP for exact meeting location.

Tiffany & Co. Employees Get the High Line Ready for Spring

Last week, a group of twenty Tiffany & Co. employees removed their jewelry and donned gardening gloves to clean up trash on the rail yards section of the High Line in anticipation of our High Line sketching classes which starts this weekend.  The employees are all part of TIffany ‘s TeamBuilders Manhattan, a group of staffers that get together for volunteer projects and social activities.  Departments from across the company were represented, including the corporate office and the Wall Street and Fifth Avenue retail stores.  The all-female crew broke up into three smaller groups and tackled different sections of the High Line between 30th-34th Street, filling nearly 25 bags with trash in just an hour and a half.  The bags were then removed by a Parks Department sanitation team.

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Tuesday, May 6: Artist Talk With Spencer Finch


[Rendering of Spencer Finch's installation on the HIgh Line inside the Chelsea Market Space.]

Artist Spencer Finch will discuss plans for the public art work he’s mounting on the High Line at a FREE public lecture next week.  The piece, called “The River the Flows Both Ways,” will be installed where the High Line goes through Chelsea Market, and is made of 720 pieces of colored glass based on light conditions Spencer observed on the Hudson River.  It’s set to open along with the rest of Section 1 of the High Line by the end of the year.  Spencer will also be discussing some of his other projects.

Spencer Finch Lecture
Tuesday, May 6
Cedar Lake Theater
547 West 26th Street
(Between 10th and 11th Avenues)
6:30-8:00PM
FREE

RSVP for Spencer’s Talk


[Spencer Finch's "Sunset," (South Texas, 6/21/03), Fluorescent lights, filters.]

 

Warehoused! New Historic District to Hug the High Line

 The handsomest factories and warehouses around the High Line got a kiss from the city on March 18, when the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) calendered a proposal for a new industrial historic district in West Chelsea.  When the LPC calendars a proposal, it has a high chance of being approved.  The hearing is scheduled for May 13.  Read the LPC’s statement about the district after the jump. 

Here’s a map of the district:

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[Click to enlarge. Courtesy NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission]

There are many people and groups who’ve helped make this happen, most notably New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who provided crucial leadership on this initiative, as she has done on so many other important projects in our neighborhood (including the High Line!).  State Senator Tom Duane also championed the effort, as did the Society of the Architecture of the City.  That said, the historic district was originally the brainchild of a longtime Chelsea resident and Community Board 4 member, Ed Kirkland.  Ed has been pushing for this historic district for years — it’s one of many ways this dedicated preservationist and tireless community activist has worked to ensure that the most valuable historic resources of our community are maintained.

We’re excited about this district, because it joins the High Line’s preservation in demonstrating the importance of preserving industrial architecture and infrastructure.  Some of the buildings in the district are among our favorites in the High Line neighborhood, including the Starrett-Lehigh Building, the New York Terminal Warehouse Company’s Central Stores, and many others.

west-chelsea-otis-elevator-building.jpg

[The Otis Elevator Building, built in 1911-1912, is one of the buildings in the proposed West Chelsea Historic District.  Photo courtesy NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.]

Other buildings in the proposed district include: the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Freight Warehouse; the RC Williams Warehouse; the Cornell Iron Works, and the Reynolds Metal Company.

Read the LPC’s statement about the district after the jump. Continue reading

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