H is for High Line

I’m looking at updates and photos of High Line Section 2, and I can only say “holy wow, I want to see it!!”   This has been my dream project for years, and beyond the awesome urban design of it, I have always loved the story behind it.   

via Pentagram:  I had enjoyed Paula Scher’s account of it and Pentagram’s involvement.  http://pentagram.com/en/new/2011/06/the-high-line-case-study.php

As far as I could tell, Hammond had no urban planning experience and wasn’t involved with the Parks Department. He was working with a friend, Joshua David, who was a magazine writer and had no urban planning or park experience either.

I actually had no idea where the High Line was. Hammond seemed like a reasonable enough person, but I didn’t believe he had any chance moving an entire city to accomplish this dream. On the other hand, I did want the Watch World job. I thought, “High Line,” “H,” “train tracks,” “green.” How long could it take?

It took about an hour, and 11 years. What follows is the work we have done for Friends of the High Line and the High Line Itself, in chronological order. Section 2 of the High Line is opening this week and the park is the most visited tourist destination in New York City. Congratulations, Robert and Josh.

I love how it started with some guys that were outside the “planning world”.  My other long time urbanist hero,  Jane Jacobs, was also never an urban planner (she was a journalist and writer).  There are  many other influential people who fall into this pattern – and it all only reaffirms to me that the best planners of cities are its citizens!!   People have great ideas, and if given a chance, magic can happen when these ideas are heard and shared loudly enough.

While wandering the Friends of High Line flckr pool, here’s an image of Section 2 that I had loved http://www.flickr.com/photos/garvinj/5810715638/in/pool-friendsofthehighline

Love = Bare feet on soft grass, an arm for a pillow, sun warmed skin, and nothing to do or say but ponder the shape of clouds  
Love = High Line

This place holds all kinds of memories for me and the times and people I visited it with.   I continue to be inspired by this project, and it gives me hope about the power of people and public space, and parks! 

I’m wishing everyone, lovely luscious lawn-lazing lay-arounds.    



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