Over to the lower west side of New York City is The High Line – a raised park park built on a 1.45-mile section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad. Surely if you’ve been to New York City, you’ve been there? It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in town! We visited one weekday evening last year as the sun was setting and thought it was high-time to share our walk with you through this photo essay…
The High Line is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line which was founded in 1999 by community residents. They fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when it was looking to be demolished.
The High Line originally opened to trains in 1934, running from 34th Street to St. John’s Park Terminal, at Spring Street and was designed to go through the centre of blocks, rather than over the avenue, to avoid the drawbacks of elevated trains. The growth of interstate trucking in the 1950s led to a drop in rail traffic and subsequently, the High Line slowly degraded over the years to the point where developers in the 1990s started to look to demolish it to begin again.
The Friends of the High Line formed and began to promote the area as a walkway and preservation as an open space and garnered so much support that led to funding to have the remaining tracks removed and redevelop the area as an official park spYace. It was opened by Mayor Bloomberg on On June 7, 2011. Read more about it here.
We joined The High Line at W 28th Street, and there seemed to be little construction going on as a new northerly section is added. We almost had to queue to walk up the steps in terms of how busy that initial section was, but it soon thinned out as we made our way south.
There are some amazing buildings running alongside The High Line and you can see the what the park has brought to the are in terms of regeneration. You can see from our pictures that it’s really well lit, so really compliments the old and new structures around it.
It’s been suggested by some New Yorkers and even in the New York Times, that it’s fast becoming a tourist trap and the statistic that 3.7 million people visited the High Line in 2011, with only half of them New Yorkers makes you wonder who this park is really for. The fact that we saw an organised zombie walk in front of us was amusing, but it’s a far from the romantic notions that this is a quiet walk to take your dog on a Sunday afternoon. This is New York City. That doesn’t exist anywhere surely?
We then jumped off at The Wets Village and headed for a bite to eat! A totally deserved meal at the end of an amazing walk.
Have you been to NYC’s High Line and walked down it? We’ll love to hear about it in the comments below.