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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November 23 Rail Yards Hearing: Note Location Change!

maclean

Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography

We need your help at City Hall on Monday, November 23, as the City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee holds a final public hearing on the rezoning of the Western Rail Yards.

City Council Hearing on Western Rail Yards
Monday, November 23, 9:30 AM
City Hall, 260 Broadway, Council Chamber
(Please note the location change)
Subway: A, C, E, to Chambers; 1,2, to Park Place; 6, N, R to Bklyn Bridge/City Hall

RSVP
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PARK(ing) Day NYC this Friday

Parking Day 2008 Video from Streetfilms

Park(ing) Day, one of our favorite yearly public space happenings, takes to the New York City streets this Friday!

This international event transforms metered parking spaces into playgrounds, parks, creative installations, and unusual meeting-grounds for all to hit the pavement and enjoy. Converting car-intended spots throughout the five boroughs, these park(ing) spaces are a great example of  street-space reclaimed. Park(ing) Day’s mission doesn’t sound too far off from the High Line’s reclamation of  space for the public.

Last year the High Line participated in the Park(ing) Day extravaganza, one of 57 spaces across the city. This year, our newly-opened park hovers 30 feet higher than most parking spaces, but encourages you to check out a nearby Park(ing) Day space on ground level. A map and description of all the spots is here.

One of our favorites is right here in the neighborhood.  Weave the Hearts, sponsored by the West Harlem Art Fund and created by Japanese artist Shintaro Tokairin, can be located at 400 W. 14th Street, near 9th Avenue. Tokairin has created a woven installation piece which will encapsulate the space, inviting visitors to relax and indulge in the artistically-inspired parking spot.

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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 Hearing Tomorrow- Note Location Change!

railyards**Tomorrow’s City Council hearing has been moved to 250 Broadway, right across the street from City Hall.**

Please come show your support tomorrow morning for the full preservation of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, and get a free “Save the High Line at the Rail Yards” T-shirt.

City Council Hearing on Eastern Rail Yards Rezoning

Tuesday, March 31

9:30 AM

NEW LOCATION: 250 Broadway (between Park Place and Murray Street)

16th Floor Conference Room

Subway: A, C, E, to Chambers; 2,3, to Park Place; 6, N, R to Bklyn Bridge/City Hall

Meeting Location: We will have staff stationed outside the front door of 250 Broadway, across from City Hall. Please check in with us and get your T-shirt before going inside.

Make sure to bring photo ID, as you will have to go through a security checkpoint on your way into the building. Tell the security staff you are going to the 16th floor for the Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee meeting.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30. It’s okay if you can’t be at the hearing right at the beginning, or if you can only stay for a little while. The Eastern Rail Yards zoning is one of three agenda items, and the hearing will last as long as there are people speaking.

Please RSVP: railyards@thehighline.org

Rail Yards: City Planning Hears Testimony on ERY Zoning

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[Land use at the Eastern Rail Yards, from the existing 2005 zoning plan.]

This morning, the City Planning Commission heard public testimony on proposed amendments to the zoning of the Eastern Rail Yards.

While the draft amendments don’t specifically concern preservation of the High Line, they represent an important and necessary step for the Related Companies in getting City approvals for the development of the rail yards site. (The public review process is moving forward as originally planned, despite the recently-announced delay to the closing of the agreement between Related and the MTA.)

FHL’s Director of Planning, Peter Mullan, along with Anna Hayes Levin of the Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee, urged the City Planning Commission to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the entire High Line at the rail yards is preserved. Though such measures weren’t part of the zoning amendments, the idea is popular with the community and local leadership.

Now the City Planning Commission will have 60 days to review the amendments and make a recommendation to the City Council. The Council will then vote on whether to approve the amendments.

There will likely be another opportunity for public input before the City Council vote– we’ll keep you posted on opportunities to speak out in favor of the High Line!

Rail Yards Update: CB4 and BP Stringer Call to Save the Spur

spur_smallThe support for the full preservation of the High Line at the rail yards continues to grow– Community Board 4 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer have both added their voices to the call to save the spur.

At a recent full Board meeting, Community Board 4 made a clear statement advocating preservation of the entire High Line at the Eastern Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue.

In a letter addressed to the City Planning Commission, CB4 recommended approval of City Planning’s proposed text amendments to the zoning plan for the Eastern Rail Yards—but at the same time, they requested additional text amendments to ensure that the entire High Line would be protected.

CB4’s letter points out that though Related shows the entire High Line in its drawing for the site, “the brutal truth of the situation is that the High Line on the ERY and the WRY remains unprotected and at serious risk of demolition. Now is the time to put in place the zoning protections to ensure that the High Line will be preserved.”

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s zoning amendment recommendation to City Planning include an equally strong call to save the spur. In his letter to City Planning Chair Amanda Burden, he wrote, “Redeveloping the rail yards must not threaten any portion of the High Line, including the spur; it should be preserved in its entirety.”

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