30 feet above the hubbub of the world’s busiest city, a river-like stretch of foliage weaves its way between skyscrapers, untouched by the perpetual rush below.
May 30, 2019
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High Line Park was built on the bones of New York Railroad’s West Side rail-line: the High Line viaduct. Since the 1930s, it had connected the warehouses of the Meatpacking District. But it became obsolete in 1980 and was neglected – till its reinvention.
Initially slated for demolition, this once-abandoned rail-line was preserved and repurposed into an elevated greenway instead. It was redeveloped – and opened up to the general public section-by-section – in 2009.
High Line Park runs in a line from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street (1.45 miles) in West Manhattan. About 5 million visitors (tourists and New Yorkers alike) enjoy High Line Park every year.
Along the Route...
Points of interest: Whitney Museum of Art, the 1890 Chelsea Market Building, Standard Hotel, Pershing Square Beams (kids' play area), 26th Street Viewing Overlook (living billboards) and even a water feature.
A Green Retreat
The paved pathway runs among 210 local species of vegetation. High Line Park’s modern, contemporary design elements blend well with the eco-friendly style of landscape architecture.
The original rail tracks have been retained in some places, and they seem to merge with the pathway and the bushes. The tracks impart a rugged aesthetic, and serve as reminders of High Line Park’s railway roots.
The scent of wildflowers and fresh grass keeps the city’s less appealing smells at bay. Visitors looking to relax can choose between High Line Park’s signature peel-up benches or river-view sundeck chaise lounges.
A Relaxing Stroll
This one-of-a-kind promenade is open from 7am to 11pm. Flanked by buildings and the Hudson, High Line Park offers a peaceful break from the city.
Guided tours of the park are available, and scenic photo opportunities are aplenty! The park’s elevation offers a unique vantage point of the cityscape and a beautiful view of the Hudson River.
Art and Activities
A public art piece is on display in the park: The River That Flows Both Ways. This stained glass window portrays the Hudson river's colors.
Also, you can check out the concerts, performances, stargazing sessions or parties held at the park.
Food on the Go
High Line Park has many quality street food vendors in its Chelsea market passage area, and even an open-air food court between West 15th and 16th Streets. There’s a collection of New York’s diverse food offerings, all without having to leave the park itself!
High Line Park's popularity has been a catalyst for development of the Chelsea area. This story of urban renewal has even motivated other cities to reinvent obsolete infrastructure into usable public spaces.
It's much more than just another tourist attraction - High Line Park is a microcosm of the NYC experience.