High Line Park, NY

High Line Park has been created in an old, unused railway bed that runs about 30 feet above street level in Manhattan and it’s absolutely beautiful. Not just because of what it looks like, but because of where it is and how it was created.

After forming  “Friends of the High Line” in 1999 without a concrete idea of what to use the tracks for, but the knowledge that they wanted to retain the High Line as part of the city rather than let it rust away and be torn down, Joshua David & Robert Hammond held an open design competition in 2003 which attracted hundreds of ideas.

Considering Manhattan is always seen as the bustling metropolis – all traffic lights and taxi cabs and rushing commuters – to have this contemporary / countryside path running along above that makes it seem like an entirely different place.

“I tend to think of it like a musical composition, that there’s one theme that is continuous…and it changes like the plants as it moves into different areas.” – Ricardo Scoffidio (co-designer)

The design elements are incredible, everything from the benches integrated into the pinstriped paths and the wooden reclining seats on wheels resting on the original tracks to the bleachers facing onto huge plate glass windows overlooking 10th Avenue.

You can find out more about the Park at www.TheHighLine.org (all the photos included in this post are from their site).

The video below is an interview with Richard Lacayo from Time Magazine and shows not only the Park as it currently stands but a little background on the High Line and the design process.

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