miércoles, 5 de mayo de 2010

The New High Line

The High Line is an elevated park that runs along a portion of Manhattan's west side. It was once a railway, in use from 1934 until 1980. As vegetation took over, it became an informal and (not completely) inaccessible greenway above the streets. Neighborhood residents Joshua David and Robert Hammond started Friends of the High Line in 1999, hoping to save the structure from demolition and build support for the park idea. The city approved funding in 2004, and the lower section (from Gansevoort to 20th Street) opened in June.

The park was designed by James Corner Field Operations, Piet Oudolf, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It is made up of pathways that weave through the original train tracks, as well as diverse plants inspired by those that grew in the absence of maintenance. The city plans to continue the park along the Hudson Yards to the Javits Convention Center. According to Mayor Bloomberg, the first section has sparked considerable neighborhood development, with more than 30 new plans now in the works.

The High Line has varied landscape and playful atmosphere. It offers a different perspective on the city, where things come into view that are usually hidden from street level. The path moves along and through buildings, creating excitement in the discovery of new environments.

The architecture has an inventive feel that plays well against the ruggedness of its surroundings. The spectator windows onto the street (or into the park) are an interesting concept, framing everyday life as entertainment. The High Line is a part of the city's changing ecology, one that builds upon the old in shaping the new.


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