The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district in the West Side, from Gansevoort St. to 34th St. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. In 1999, a community based non-profit group called Friends of the High Line formed when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the City of New York, worked to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park and on June 5, 2009, it opened to the public.
Click the picture below for detail. The opened portion of the park is at the southern most end at Gansevoort St.
Once, you cross the street, then, wait some more to go up the stairs to the elevated park. I didn’t have the time to wait that long so I walked around the High Line, seeing it from the street level.
Although I didn’t get a chance to go up to the park on Saturday, I was moved by the story of tireless efforts that a group like Friends of the High Line has put in to saving a forgotten structure like an old elevated railroad track, especially in a massive city like Manhattan, where commerce and industry can take priority over the environment. I promised myself to go back to High Line and try to go up next time…when all the other New Yorkers have retreated to their concrete jungle…..hopefully…just for one day when I’m there. Then, they can go back to enjoying the green sanctuary after I had my chance.