Proposals for the High Line
As the well publicized redevelopment process for the World Trade Center site in New York City evolves, real-estate profit motives are once again dulling what many had hoped would be a design showcase for the world's brightest architectural imaginations. Meanwhile, on Manhattan's West Side, just north of the World Trade Center site, another site is inspiring imaginative rescue scenarios.
The historic "High Line" is an abandoned stretch of elevated railway, now the focus of urban designers from around the world. The mile-and-a-half- (2.4-kilometer-) long structure runs from 34th Street through Chelsea to the Meat Packing District. Built between 1929 and 1934, the freight spur served the West Side until 1980. It is now inactive, covered in wildflowers (some would say "weeds"), and crying out for attention.
Answering the cry is the nonprofit group, Friends of the High Line. They have just concluded a competition to generate ideas for the track's future. Hundreds of entries to "Designing the High Line," some practical, some fanciful, are encouraging New Yorkers to think beyond real estate leases.
Most of the proposed schemes involve converting the High Line to public park space. Boardwalks, running trails, even a long-distance swimming pool were among the schemes selected by a jury to go into an exhibition now showing at Grand Central Terminal. >>>
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One of the competition's honorable mentions went to Patrick Vaucheret and team from SMWM, San Francisco. Titled "Stitch Back," the project is described as "knitting street, structure, and sky."
The "High Line" elevated railway spur, built 1929-34, ran from 34th Street through Chelsea to the Meat Packing District in Manhattan until 1980.
Photo: Courtesy Friends of the High Line
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