Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond got together with a group of High Line lovers at Chelsea's P.S. 11 on Tuesday night to gather design input for the last remaining stretch of the park in the sky. This final half-mile section wraps around the ginormous Hudson Yards development where Related Properties will build 5.5 million square feet of commercial, residential, and cultural buildings on a platform atop the 26-acre site. The High Line structure will be preserved in full, but how the park will look is still undetermined.
One major consideration is how nearby future development will impact the High Line. When the 7 train extension opens at 34th and Eleventh at the end of 2013, the area around the northern end of the High Line will undergo a major change. A big challenge for the designers from James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio and Renfro is how to integrate the narrow parkscape into the towers rising all around.
Going back to grass roots at Community Board 4, where FOTHL was born some ten years ago, Hammond showed slides covering the history of the High Line and environs. On view were some plans from the past, including the "mind-numbing" Jets / Olympics 2012 Stadium from 2004. Then there was the 2007 winning proposal for Hudson Yards from Tishman Speyer, a plan that died as the economy crashed, and which displays some resemblance to the recently revealed scissor towers from Related. But what's coming next?
For the High Line itself, the idea is to continue with the "rooms" and "experiences" that are integrated into various microclimates along the southern mile of rails, offering such memorable sights as the wet and wild 15th Street sun deck, the popular peel-up lawn and the woodland fly over. One thing Hammond is hankering for is a temporary walkway around the west end of the elevated tracks, inspired by some reclaimed rails in Berlin. That cost-conscious plan would allow folks to get up on the rails overlooking the Hudson as soon as possible. Another dream: a performance space atop the now-saved Tenth Avenue Spur, where the rails widen out and offer a place to gather. To see what might be in store, check out our gallery, filled with images of the High Line past, present and future.
· High Line coverage [Curbed]
· Hudson Yards coverage [Curbed]