|Located in New York City's Meatpacking District, the High Line was an elevated railway originally constructed in the 1930s to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan?s expanding streets; abandoned in 1980, it was left to naturalize and fell into disuse. The non-profit group "Friends of the High Line" was founded by Joshua David and Robert Hammond in 1999 to advocate for its preservation and reuse as a public park. In 2002, Friends of the High Line finally won a lawsuit challenging the City?s plans for demolishing the remaining tracks. In 2003 a design competition was launched to solicit proposals for reusing the High Line.|
Today the High Line is an elevated public park owned by the City of New York and operated under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Designed by the landscape architecture firm of James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro with planting design from Piet Oudolf and engineering design by Buro Happold, the first section opened to the public in June, 2009. The landscaped city park in the air will eventually extend from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, but currently it runs north from Gansevoort 22 blocks to 20th Street. The second of three segments is expected to open in spring of 2011 and extend the High Line to 30th Street.
|?The park welcomes visitors with naturalized plantings that are inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the disused tracks and with new, often unexpected views of the city and the Hudson River. Pebble-dash concrete walkways unify the trail, which swells and constricts, swinging from side to side, and divides into concrete tines that meld the hardscape with the planting embedded in railroad gravel mulch. Stretches of track and ties recall the High Line?s former use. Most of the planting is of rugged meadow plants, including clump-forming grasses, liatris and coneflowers, with scattered stands of sumac and smokebush, but not limited to American natives.? ~ Wikipedia|
"The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. The 210 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees in Section 1 were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are incorporated into the park's landscape," (Friends of the High Line, see below).
"With the help of ZinCo USA green roof technology, the High Line now invites the public to stroll above 10th Avenue on its 1-mile-and-a-half boardwalk among natural plantings, benches, lighting and a host of special features. The ZinCo USA drainage system enabled the High Line?s diverse array of design and construction experts to seamlessly integrate plantings with hardscapes. The components of the ZinCo USA system allow stormwater and irrigation runoff to drain properly while simultaneously retaining water to keep the vegetation vital and healthy. We feel the project epitomizes how green roof technology can transform urban space into beautiful recreational parks and gardens," (ZinCo USA).
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|Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. Visit the official High Line website and see numerous images and videos here; contact the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation here. Download an informative PDF from the ASLA, including a long list of Project Resources, here. Read these two June 9, 2009 articles: "On the High Line at Last" by Mason Currey in Metropolis Magazine and "New York?s High Line Park in the Sky Opens Today!" by Jill Fehrenbacher from Inhabitat (with tons of photos).|
Friends of the High Line received the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) "Green Roof Leadership Award 2010," presented to Dr. John H. Alschuler, Jr. by IGRA President Roland Appl in Singapore at the International Skyrise Greenery Conference - read the 11.9.10 press release here. The High Line is featured in The 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World? Calendar from Greenroofs.com for the month of September. Learn about ZinCo USA in The Greenroof Directory here, and ZinCo International here.
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