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The High Line Park

The High Line Park (47)

The High Line was originally built in the 30s in order to raise freight trains and get them off the city streets. Today, however, this layout has become obsolete and since 2008 it has been recovered as a park for New Yorkers to enjoy. It is a true oasis at 9 metres high, a way to get away from the hectic pace on the streets.

Originally, this railway measured over 20 kilometres departing from meat factories and warehouses in the Meatpacking District to the rest of New York, via Tenth Avenue to the north. This avenue had become known as the avenue of death, as the trains travelled at high speed and pedestrian accidents were constant. That was when the cowboys of the West Side were created, riders galloping in front of these huge and heavy freight trains displaying a red flag warning. But accidents still occurred too frequently. Therefore, a decision was made to create the High Line. That is to say the railway was elevated by 9 metres. The solution was very good and lasted a few years, however, in the mid-50s road transport began to be much more effective. Over time, several areas of the High Line were demolished and by 1980 the last trainload of thousands of frozen turkeys departed.

Thus the railway was abandoned completely until a non-profit association presented the project to turn it into a landscaped promenade. Today, the High Line Park covers nearly 2.5 km. The landscape includes work by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and combines concrete paths with plants, fixed and mobile banks and other elements. Interestingly, the plants you will see here are inspired by those which grew naturally because of the neglect of these pathways for over 25 years. There are over 200 different species.

It is certainly an experience jogging around a place like this, or at least visiting to get a different view of New York.

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