Published on November 12th, 2011 | by Jennifer Shockley1
New York Looks Up: Historic High Line’s Next Life
Architecture, like most businesses is based on a process and although each project may be entirely different than the previous one, it requires that process to proceed. In many instances patience is a huge portion of that process and the drive to continue and to not easily be defeated by negative voices or opposing views is mandatory.
In New York City, in the now historic, Meat Packing District an example of determination and pride of preserving history’s significant structures has been underway for over ten years.
In 1847 trains were authorized and implemented on street level. They were used to move livestock, poultry, and goods from the harbor to the District for distribution. But in the years to follow many accidents occurred, so many so that 10thAvenue in New York City became known as Death Alley. These continuous hazardous conditions led to a much needed change in 1930. The city decided to move the tracks 30 feet above ground as part of the West Side Improvement Project, changing its name to the High Line. This change allowed the trains to no longer interfere with street traffic and they were used until 1980 when truck use became more common.
Since the 1980’s the High Line has regularly come under scrutinized attention, with the threat of demolition always looming. But in 1999 a group founded by Joshua David and Robert Hammond was formed to stop the threat and to raise funds to transform the High Line’s tracks and rail yard into a public park covering the entire 13 mile stretch. The group is known as The Friends of the High Line.