A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 22, 2009
Park in the Sky (High Line)

The High Line was a 1.45-mile elevated railroad on the west side of Manhattan, built in the 1930s for commercial warehouse traffic. The High Line ceased to be used by 1980 and was proposed to be destroyed. On June 8, 2009, the High Line re-opened as a public park.

The Friends of the High Line organization had planned the park since 1999. The nickname “park in the sky” has been used since at least 2003.


Wikipedia: High Line (New York City)
The High Line is a 1.45-mile (2.33 km) section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line, along the lower west side of Manhattan, which has been redesigned and planted as a greenway. The High Line runs from the former 34th Street freightyard, near the Javits Convention Center, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District of the West Village. The High Line was built in the early 1930s by the New York Central Railroad to eliminate the fatal accidents that occurred along the street-level right-of-way and to offer direct warehouse-to-freight car service that reduced pilferage for the Bell Laboratories Building (now the Westbeth Artists Community) and the Nabisco plant (now Chelsea Market), which were served from protected sidings within the structures. It was in active use until 1980.

In the 1990s, it became known to a few urban explorers and local residents for the tough, drought-tolerant wild grasses, forbs and trees that had sprung up in the gravel along the abandoned railway.

By 1999 broadened community support of public redevelopment for the High Line for pedestrian use grew, and funding was allocated in 2004. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was an important supporter. The southernmost section reopened as a city park on June 8, 2009. The middle section is still being refurbished, while the northernmost section’s future remains uncertain, access disputed between the City of New York and the MTA.

HighBeam Research
Article: Effort under way to turn abandoned New York railway into a park in the sky
Article from:AP Worldstream
Article date:July 22, 2003
Author:TARA BURGHART, Associated Press Writer
Dateline: NEW YORK
In a city where real estate is king, seven acres (2.8 hectares) of open space is precious—even if it’s 18 feet (five meters) above the ground.

The High Line, a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) elevated railroad spur built 70 years ago to carry freight trains to the far West Side of Manhattan, has accumulated knee-high grass, wildflowers and rust since the last train rumbled through in 1980.

Now, some civic groups and politicians are pushing to have the High Line turned into parkland as part of the city’s effort to revitalize the industrial neighborhood and boost chances of landing the 2012 Olympics.

Google Books
New York:
The Unknown City

By Brad Dunn and Daniel Hood
Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press
2004
Pg. 76:
That he failed (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who wanted to tear down the High Line—ed.) was due, in no small part, to the efforts of writer Joshua David and artist Robert Hammond. Inspired—and a little obsessed—by the abandoned line and its freight of wildflowers, the two men founded the nonprofit group Friends of the High Line (highline.org) in 1999 to promote the idea of rehabilitating the double-bed tracks into a park in the sky.

Google Books
September 2005, Dwell, pg. 90, col. 2:
But the most crucial lesson David and Hammond learned from their predecessor, according to David, is, “If you build a park in the sky, somebody will come.”

The Villager
Volume 75, Number 39 | February 15 -21 2006
Design details outlined for High Line ‘park in sky’
By Albert Amateau
“This crazy pipe dream is really about to happen,” said New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe on Monday to more than 100 supporters of the elevated park between Gansevoort and 33rd Sts. on the derelict railroad viaduct known as the High Line.

Friends of the High Line, the neighborhood group that initiated the move to save the structure, and the park design team of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro convened the Feb. 13 meeting to present the latest plans for the park’s first section, from Gansevoort to 20th Sts.

With $84.25 million in city and federal funds, “there’s not enough money to build it all but enough to get it started,” said Benepe, adding, “We’re on board in a major way and we [Department of Parks] are the agency that will own the ‘park in the sky.’”

High Line Blog
Best of the High Line Blog
Posted on June 25, 2008 by Danya Sherman
The High Line is well on its way to becoming New York’s first park in the sky, with plants taking root in late summer and the first section on schedule to open by the end of 2008. Keep up to date with the High Line’s progress here on the Blog, written by Friends of the High Line’s staff members:

Telegraph (London)
New York opens High Line park in the sky on elevated railway tracks
An abandoned elevated railway line that once carried freight over the tough streets of New York’s Meatpacking District reopened on Monday as the city’s newest park.

Published: 11:02PM BST 08 Jun 2009

Inhabitat
New York’s High Line Park in the Sky Opens Today!
by Yuka Yoneda
June 9, 2009
An elevated park in the sky built on top of the skeleton of an old rail system? It may have sounded impossible only five years ago, but today, the eagerly awaited High Line elevated urban park officially opens for thousands of New Yorkers looking to escape the hubbub of the city below

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 22, 2009 • Permalink