During our recent visit to New York and despite the cold and the wind, we were able to walk upon the High Line. The strolled served to connect our visits to the “Vessel” with the Whitney Museum of American Art.
This elevated linear park is located in the section known as Chelsea on the western side of Manhattan in New York. The High Line includes green areas and gardens with more than 500 species of plants and trees. Presently it covers a trail of almost mile and a half, or little more than 2 kilometers. It is a good stroll and within our experience, it was not exhausting and one can enjoy everything one see on the way.
In fact, we were awestruck by several murals that adorn adjacent buildings and the neighborhood.
In addition, we found some very unique and interesting residential structures.
Sharing a little of the history of “The High Line”, this was originally a elevated railway built in 1933 to facilitate the movement of products, mainly meat and dairy products, via the “West Side Elevated Line”, from Hudson Yards to the lower part of the city. It stopped being used at the beginning of the 1980s and from that moment it would be destined for its total demolition.
This elevated rail system in turn replaced the street level network that ran along the 10th Avenue, known as “Death Avenue” due to the hundreds of pedestrians who were killed by the train while trying to cross the avenue.
The first section of the elevated park that stretches from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street was opened to the public in 2009. This, the result of an effort that began in 1999 when Joshua David and Robert Hammond, neighbors in Chelsea, founded the Friends of the High Line, a non-profit organization, with the intention of rescuing and preserving the space for public enjoyment. The concept for the park is born when in the elevated structure already abandoned, wild vegetation flourishes over the railway.
However, the idea of rescuing the abandoned structure to be converted for other uses was born in 1983 when Peter Obletz, also a neighbor in Chelsea, forms the “West Side Rail Line Development” Foundation. Unfortunately, its efforts were not successful and the section between the Bank and Gansevoort streets was demolished to make room for a housing complex.
The second section of the park between 20 and 30 streets opens in 2012 and the third section in 2014, which extends to Hudson Yards on 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenue. It is owned by the City but under the tutelage of the Friends of the High Line, who are in charge of its administration and coordination of activities, thanks to the donations they receive.
Do not miss the opportunity to walk it, and much better if you do it in the spring months, better in May, in the summer and fall.