The floating park: High Line


Transformed from an historic freight rail line elevated above Manhattan’s streets, The High Line is a public urban space on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City.


The original train line was designed on 1934 to carry goods to and from different industrial districts of NYC, without disturbing traffic. During the 80’s a group of property owners pushed for the demolition of the entire structure and for long time the area was unused and left to deteriorate. Only in 1999 Joshua David and Robert Hammond, residents of the High Line neighborhood, founded Friends of the High Line, a no profit organization with the scope of preserving and transforming the rail line space into a public park. With the collaboration of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in 2002 they started the renovation and in 2009 the first section of the park was opened to the public. The second part opened in 2011 and the Rail Yards in 2014.

Using innovative design combining organic and man made materials, different original sections were changed in self-seeded landscapes with native plant species and adding a pedestrian space. Along the High Line at the Rail Yards there are three linear tracks where everyone can walk, run or rest on benches and sundeck chaise lounges enjoying the raised view of the city. Just west of 11th Avenue there is a unique structure for families, the Pershing Square Beams, where children can run and play over a series of sunken areas covered in a silicone for safety.

High Line projects

Friends of the High Line are taking care of the park, organizing over 450 public events and activities to raise funding for the maintenance and future transformations every year. They promote the community to enjoy and have different experience inside the park by organizing yoga classes, lunchtime concerts, kid programs, private and guided walking tours and with the collaboration of the Art commissions they present a wide range of art projects including exhibitions, performances and video programs.


Photo Credit: ©Iwan Baan