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Old June 25th, 2008, 09:21 PM   #1
lokinyc
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Designs revealed for final phase of Manhattan's High Line Park


The Gansevoort Woodland, overlooking Washington Street, features dense trees and plantings along the High Line’s edge. (Design by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of
New York)

June 25, 2008, 1:11 pm
High Line Designs Are Unveiled

By Sewell Chan

City officials and the Friends of the High Line presented the final design on Tuesday for the first phase of the High Line, the $170 million park that is under construction on the West Side of Manhattan and has been called one of New York City’s most distinctive public projects in generations.

The park — modeled loosely on the Promenade Plantée in Paris — is being built on 1.5-mile elevated freight rail structure that stretches 22 blocks, from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, near the Hudson River. The rail structure, built to support two fully loaded freight trains, was built from 1929 to 1934 when the West Side was a freight-transportation hub, but has been unused for decades. The tracks are 30 to 60 feet wide and 18 to 30 feet above the ground.
The High LineSlide Show

Ground was broken in April 2006. Over the past two years, work crews have been constructing the first, $85 million segment of the 6.7-acre park, which is estimated to cost $170 million, through federal, city and private money.

At a news conference in Chelsea, officials unveiled two sets of designs: final designs for the first phase, which will stretch from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street and be completed by the end of this year, and preliminary designs for the second phase, which will go from 20th Street to 30th Street and be completed by the end of 2009.

“The High Line will be like other parks in our city’s system, but it will also be distinct — a park in the sky, unlike any other,” Adrian Benepe, the city’s parks commissioner, said in a statement.

Amanda M. Burden, the city’s planning commissioner, who joined Mr. Benepe at the news conference, said in a statement that the designers had “created a magical environment that is at once ever-changing, intricate and sweeping.” She added, “This amazing and totally unique public open space will be celebrated worldwide and stand as one of the great legacies of the Bloomberg administration.”

The designs for the park are the creation of a team led by Field Operations, a landscape architectural company, which along with architects from Diller Scofidio + Renfro won a 2004 design competition. The Museum of Modern Art exhibited the team’s preliminary designs for the first phase of the High Line in 2005.

The new designs reveal with greater precision the important elements of the park’s first phase. Those elements include Gansevoort Plaza, the park’s southern terminus in the meatpacking district and a major access point for the park; the “slow stairs” that will gradually ascend from street level to the elevated rail bed; pathways of tapered concrete planks that allow plants to creep up at the edges; a two-level sundeck, between 14th and 15th Streets, that will offer views of the Hudson, with wooden deck seating on the upper level and a “rail preserve” with dense native planting on the lower; an art installation space where the park cuts through the Chelsea Market, formerly a Nabisco factory; and the 10th Avenue Square, an area of steps and ramps at 17th Street where visitors can descend into the lower part of the elevated railway.

The second, $71 million phase of the project includes a Chelsea Thicket of dense plantings; the 23rd Street Lawn with stepped seating, where the High Line rises and provides crosstown views; the Woodland Flyover, a metal walkway allowing visitors to go under the shade of sumac trees and above moss and ground plantings; the 26th Street View Spur, a part of the flyover where visitors can look onto the streets through a billboard-like frame; a field of native wildflowers; and an access point at 30th Street.

An additional $14 million has been designated for a plaza and stairs to the park, still to be designed.

A third and final phase of the High Line, still in the planning stages, involves a half-mile section ringing the railyards north of 30th Street and 12th Avenue. Five bidders are competing to develop that site, but only three want to preserve that segment of the High Line, officials said.

Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit group established in 1999, which will eventually manage and operate the High Line in cooperation with the Parks Department, said the park’s grand opening has not been scheduled but would likely take place in December or January.

Asked whether the cold months were the best time to open a new park, Mr. Hammond replied that the timing would allow officials — and the public — to acclimate themselves to the new space.

“One of my biggest concerns is over-success,” he said. “It’s not MoMA. It’s not the Sheep Meadow. It’s a relatively small park. One of the advantages of opening the window is, it’s almost like a soft opening. As it gets more beautiful in the spring, we’ll be figuring out how to manage it. One of my concerns is it being loved to death in the first few weeks. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about.”

James Corner, principal of Field Operations, said in a statement:

From an aesthetic and design standpoint, it has always been our position to try to respect the innate character of the High Line itself. Our design aims to reflect its singularity and linearity, its straight-forward pragmatism, its emergent properties with wild plant-life—meadows, thickets, vines, mosses, flowers, intermixed with ballast, steel tracks, railings, and concrete. The result is an episodic and varied series of public spaces and landscape biotopes set along a simple and consistent line—a line that cuts across some of the most remarkable elevated vistas of Manhattan and the Hudson River.

Ricardo Scofidio, a principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said in a statement:

Through a strategy of agri-tecture that combines organic and building materials into a vegetal/mineral blend, the park accommodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate, and the social. New plantings build on the existing landscape character, working with specific environmental urban conditions and microclimates associated with sun, shade, wet, dry, wind, noise, open and sheltered spaces.

The Friends of the High Line also unveiled a publication, “Designing the High Line,” that traces the creative process behind the new park.

LINK TO SLIDESHOW:
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/200...igh_index.html
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Old June 25th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #2
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New York is becoming so suburban in mentality.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #3
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I'm sorry but how did you make the leap from redeveloping a hulking, elevated, abandoned rail line into an urban oasis to "suburban mentality?"
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #4
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I apologize. It is cool that it's on the el. I just hate the rendering with those kids in it. Reminds me that NYC is being taken over by brats.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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I can't wait for this to open. This park will create great vantage points of buildings and elevated street shots for taking pictures.

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Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
I apologize. It is cool that it's on the el. I just hate the rendering with those kids in it. Reminds me that NYC is being taken over by brats.
It's a park, kids will be a big part of it.

Last edited by UrbanImpact; June 25th, 2008 at 11:08 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #6
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I doubt you'll see many kids on the High Line, mostly the "geighs" sunbathing, just like Hudson River Park.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
New York is becoming so suburban in mentality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
I apologize. It is cool that it's on the el. I just hate the rendering with those kids in it. Reminds me that NYC is being taken over by brats.
i don't see what is 'suburban' in a negtive way.. or in any way really, about kids

but i would agree that ny is becoming cleaner/safer.. and that's probably 'suburban'. parks are good, they should replace ashphalt with grass and trees where possible
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Old June 28th, 2008, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
I apologize. It is cool that it's on the el. I just hate the rendering with those kids in it. Reminds me that NYC is being taken over by brats.
Its part of the problem that people think that children in an urban quarter are in the wrong location. Cities can be and should be family friendly. Not all parts of them to the same degree of course, but there is no fundamental contradiction between urban density and living their with a family.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
New York is becoming so suburban in mentality.
That point definitely bears some merit; it's what's hurting the city's overall ability to compete with worldwide business centers.

I respectfully submit to the thread:

At the end of the day, Manhattan Island and Midtown especially ought to be primarily a globally competitive business center and devote its planning, governance and in this case municipal monies towards achievement towards that focus.

Instead as this article clearly defines, it's becoming Long Island; full of people who make themselves overlord of their city district, who play king of the hill politics, community activist and 'let's see what we can spend money on'.

Most other cities would have just torn down the line adknowlegding its obsolescene and invested the money for beautification on the real sidewalks below. Not NY.

More money wasted that can be used for better purposes (i.e. fixing the sidewalks along Times Square, pressure rinsing the stench of piss off the sidewalks) If you disagree and think building a park on top of an old abandoned rail line will improve the lives and economy of the city, do tell ;-)

- S
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Old June 30th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #10
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The Hotel Chelsea used to be a microcosm of Manhattan pleasantly infested with bohemians and the likes of Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. Now the city around it has become a family friendly boutique that views the Hotel as a derelict piece of real estate. Manhattan is too kid friendly and I think that many adults without kids are being turned off by this notion. Pretty soon Manhattan will be rated "G".

I am all for improvements but don't like how pretentious Manhattan has become. I blame it on it being predominantly upper middle class.

I like how in Paris you can go to a restaurant and nobody brings their children. Heaven. I personally will not eat at a restaurant where they offer high chairs.

Last edited by philadweller; June 30th, 2008 at 08:19 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 08:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
I apologize. It is cool that it's on the el. I just hate the rendering with those kids in it. Reminds me that NYC is being taken over by brats.
just because kids live in NYC it doesn't imply that they are brats. I could say that all people who live in the suburbs are spoiled conservative republicans, and that wouldn't be true either. So dont stereotype an entire group of people unless you can say the same thing about every single one individually.

also: assuming that philadweller lives in Philadelphia, im pretty certain that he/she is just jelous of NYC.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #12
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yea kids add a certain quality to the city
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Old July 1st, 2008, 02:21 AM   #13
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I agree with Philadweller in everything he said... but it's not something new, i think NY has already lost its charm long time ago... and the bad news are, that is becoming even worse...

New York used to be known as 'the city that never sleeps', full of young people, artist, etc.. and now every year is closer to become a theme park and a museum for rich boring people... It's so sad, gentrification is killing manhattan!!!
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Old July 1st, 2008, 11:22 PM   #14
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"also: assuming that philadweller lives in Philadelphia, im pretty certain that he/she is just jelous of NYC."

I was born in Queens. I left Manhattan for Philadelphia and have no regrets whatsoever. Now I live in Miami but may return back to Philadelphia. I am not jealous in the least bit. Both of my sisters live in Manhattan. Whether I like it or not. NYC is in my blood. I am almost 40 so I can really gauge the changes that I have witnessed.

BTW I am a 39 year old gay male.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 03:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
I just hate the rendering with those kids in it. Reminds me that NYC is being taken over by brats.
Oh, so there were never any children in New York? Its been an adults-only city for the past 400 years?

Now more than ever we will see less kids in NY simply because of the increasing cost-prohibitiveness of raising a family there.

Last edited by monkeyronin; July 2nd, 2008 at 07:34 PM.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 05:09 AM   #16
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They still can develop along the park - I mean on both sides of it - right?
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 06:10 AM   #17
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This thread has to be one of the most idiotic I have ever read.

If every square inch of Manhattan became Disneyworld, it STILL wouldn't mean that NYC has lost much of its grit and character.

Manhattan is 1.7 million in a city of 8.3 million and a metro of 21 million.

And what do children and a park have to do with "suburban in mentality"?? There are barely any children in West Chelsea!!

Last edited by crawford; July 2nd, 2008 at 06:16 AM.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 04:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawford View Post
This thread has to be one of the most idiotic I have ever read.

If every square inch of Manhattan became Disneyworld, it STILL wouldn't mean that NYC has lost much of its grit and character.

Manhattan is 1.7 million in a city of 8.3 million and a metro of 21 million.

And what do children and a park have to do with "suburban in mentality"?? There are barely any children in West Chelsea!!
THANK YOU!
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