Aloha, Friends of the High Line!


That’s right, we’re on flickr!

Need your High Line fix? Check out more than 1,700 photos– including tons of historical and construction photos,  and many shots from Friends of the High Line events, on our new photostream.

Visit Friends of the High Line on flickr

NY Times: Standard is “Serious Architecture”


The Standard this morning, via live webcam.

Our neighbor the Standard Hotel landed a nice New York Times review by Nicolai Ouroussoff yesterday. Ouroussoff points to the Standard’s architects, Polshek Partnership,  as an example of a trend toward more “serious” firms looking for “the right balance between innovation and restraint.”

The first of a string of projects linked to the development of the High Line, a park being built on a segment of abandoned elevated rail tracks, the new building’s muscular form is strong enough to stand up to both its tacky neighbors and the area’s older industrial structures. Its location, on Washington Street at West 13th Street, exploits the clash of scales that has always been a gripping aspect of the city’s character.
In short, it is the kind of straightforward, thoughtfully conceived building that is all too rare in the city today.

Industrial Sleek (A Park Runs Through It) (NY Times)

Serious Architecture for the Standard (Slide Show)

Save Jersey City’s High Line– Deadline Tomorrow!

embankmentLike the High Line? Want to help with our sister project? Now’s your chance!

The Harsimus Stem Embankment, an elevated stone structure that runs for a half mile along 6th street in downtown Jersey City needs your help. The Embankment Preservation Coalition is the non-profit group working to preserve the Embankment, develop its top as  open space, and integrate the site into a network of local and regional pedestrian and biking trails.

The Coalition needs as many supporters as possible to immediately file an environmental comment with the Surface Transportation Board– the same government body through which the High Line is preserved.

The process is simple, and only takes a moment. Click here to view the instructions on how to help and to help preserve an “irreplaceable historic and environemental resource.” The deadline is April 7th at 4:00 PM, so act now!

View the action alert here.
View the Harsimus Stem Embankment Website here.

Rail Yards: Next Steps


Tuesday’s City Council hearing on the Eastern Rail Yards text amendments was a great success for Friends of the High Line.

Even though the measures the Council Committee approved did not specifically address the High Line, the overwhelming presence and passionate testimony of our supporters made it apparent that the High Line’s preservation is a major community priority. Before the Committee took its final vote, the Committee Chair stated that it was clear that the High Line’s preservation would need to be addressed at the next possible point in the rail yards approval process. Thanks to the Council for all their current and past support.

What comes next?

We are now faced with a critical opportunity: the next step in the rail yards development process will be the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) for the rezoning of the Western Rail Yards. ULURP is a multi-step zoning approval process requiring public input and sign-off from the Community Board, Borough President and City Council within a set timeframe. This ULURP process may begin as early as May.

The Western Rail Yards ULURP will provide a key opportunity for the City to take steps to preserve the High Line. Specifically, the City can and should take ownership of the High Line at the rail yards, as it did with the portion below 30th Street. City aquisition of the High Line requires ULURP, so it makes sense to include this action in the Western Rail Yards ULURP, which has already been calendared.

CSX Transportation, the railroad company that owns the High Line at the rail yards, has indicated willingness to donate the remainder of the High Line to the City, as they did with the rest of the structure in 2005. We are asking the City to take the necessary steps right now in including High Line Acquisition in the Western Rail Yards ULURP.

Why City Aquisition?

In short, because City Aquisition of the High Line at the rail yards would put the High Line in the hands of the public, and ensure that its future is decided by public process, instead of leaving it to the private developer. While Related has indicated plans to retain most of the High Line, there is no binding legal requirement that it be preserved– in fact, the developer has indicated plans to tear down the spur over 10th Avenue. City Acquisition does not necessarily preserve the High Line, but it’s a crucial step towards making sure the decision is made in the public interest.

As the date for the ULURP approaches, please stay tuned for more opportunities to speak out in favor of the High Line’s full preservation. Our window for action may be very narrow, but it’s crucial that we act now– the future of the High Line depends on it.

In the Press

Tuesday’s hearing resulted in some good press, which also serves as helpful background on this issue. From the New York Observer:

“While the bushes are blooming on the soon-to-be-opened southern section of the High Line, a battle is blossoming at City Hall over the fate of the line’s northern section. The battle spawned a rally earlier this week, as activists on behalf of the park continue to demand public supervision of the line’s northern spur. “

Activists Pressure Pols on Northern Turn of the High Line; It’s in Related’s Rail Yards

There was also a good piece in The Villager:

High Liners are spurred to action to save last third

Diller Scofidio + Renfro on Charlie Rose

As if we could love the Charlie Rose Show any more.

There’s a lot of High Line talk at the beginning of this interview, plus discussion of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s other work: The Blur Building, the ICA in Boston, and of course the new Alice Tully Hall.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro are part of the High Line’s design team, led by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations.