No. 531 . 07 September 2011 

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The new tower named 1 WTC, designed by David Childs of SOM, rises gradually above the vast site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood together. Our contributing editor finds architecture, and hope, rising across Manhattan. Photo: Michael J. Crosbie

Notes from Manhattan: High Line to WTC

by Michael J. Crosbie

New York on the cusp of fall: the light has that very yellowy tint that only happens this time of year, and the air seems clear as crystal. A quick jaunt around Manhattan Island — literally one afternoon, just before the tenth anniversary of September 11th — reveals new, continuing, and still-becoming works of architecture.

The best news of the summer is the continuation and extension of the High Line. Built upon the carcass of an abandoned elevated rail line from the 1930s that served a thriving meatpacking industry on Manhattan's west side, the High Line has been reborn as an urban park with lush green grasses, wildflowers, benches, city outlooks, and places to lounge.

Last summer, ArchitectureWeek editor David Owen paid a visit to the first section of the High Line, which opened in June 2009, and which runs along 10th Avenue from just north of 20th Street down to just south of 12th Street. This June, a new section opened all the way to 30th Street. (A third stretch, pending development, would take the High Line to 34th Street.)

The High Line design is a collaboration among landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations (project lead), architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf.   >>>



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