It's official, folks: the third and final section of the High Line will open to the public on Sunday, September 21. Friends of the High Line made the announcement in a newsletter today, pointing out that for the first time, all New Yorkers will be able to continuously walk the 22 blocks from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, 30 feet up on the elevated park. Designs for this last leg, called the High Line at the Rail Yards, were first revealed in July 2012, and the opening date is set for almost exactly two years after the groundbreaking. Here's what visitors can expect:
Along the way, you will experience new design features and plantings that will animate this new section of the High Line, with newly planted trees and perennials selected by Piet Oudolf, innovatively designed seating areas, and pathways installed in the High Line's original rail tracks. For the first time, you will be able to walk along the self-seeded grasses and wildflowers that have grown along the tracks in the years since the trains stopped running.
However, there will still be one chunk of the High Line that remains unfinished: the 10th Avenue spur, where there will be "an extraordinary, sheltered, and vegetated interior room" (that looks like a big grassy bowl). The first Hudson Yards tower straddles this section of the park, so it will not be opening until construction finishes up on the 52-story tower in late 2015.
[High Line at the Rail Yards, as seen from 10 Hudson Yards. Photo by Max Touhey]
Even so, this is a huge deal. The processing of turning the abandoned rails into a public space began 15 years ago, and construction first started in 2006. It's been a long time coming, and even if many New Yorkers think it's too crowded with tourists, it's still exciting to see the final piece fall into place.
· High Line [official]
· Here Now, New Designs for the High Line's Final Section [Curbed]
· Here Now, The Giant, Verdant Bowl In The Next High Line Phase [Curbed]
· All High Line coverage [Curbed]