As the opening of Section 2 of the High Line approaches later this spring, National Geographic’s April edition will debut Paul Goldberger’s in-depth article about this first of its kind urban park. Goldberger, the New Yorker’s renowned architecture critic, describes the breathtaking transformation of this crumbling structure into an urban walking experience floating above the ground unlike anything else in New York City.
The High Line was built on the decaying elevated railroad tracks starting at Gansevoort Street and will soon extend to 30th Street through the West Village’s Meatpacking District and Chelsea areas of New York City. The Goldberger article tells the fascinating history of the elevated freight tracks and the evolution of how it became a reality and is supplemented by spectacular images from landscape photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel.
From the day the first section of the High Line opened in June 2009, it has been one of the city’s major tourist attractions, with visitors from all over the world coming to experience it. For those who live in the neighborhood this is just as much a neighborhood park as in other sections of the city: a refuge amid blocks of concrete and steel and streets filled with traffic and noise.
When you approach the High Line on the lower west side of Manhattan, what you see is a harsh, heavy, black steel structure supporting an elevated rail line. What was once carrying freight cars right into factories and warehouses and that looks, at least from a distance, more like an abandoned relic than an urban oasis now offers a park experience with views and walkways that are truly unique and enjoyable to all.
Capalino+Company served as strategic advisors to the co-founders of Friend of the High Line. Jim Capalino is also a founding member of the Board of Directors of Friends of the High Line.