THE HIGH LINE – recycling, New York style

Once a railway, now a wonderful walkway.



At last, there’s something to do in New York after climbing the Empire State Building, snapping the Statue of Liberty and falling asleep with jetlag during The Lion King…

New York’s High Line is quite simply a fabulous, visionary idea that will surely repay its cost many times over.

Turning a disused overhead railway line into an urban park has given the city a whole new ‘must see’ tourist attraction as well as providing a facility for locals.

Here’s the story…

In the 1850s, railway lines through the city were the cause of many accidents. So much so that West Side Cowboys were employed to ride horses to clear pedestrians from the tracks on ‘Death Avenue’ as trains came through.

Train coming, pardners! Gidoutahere!

So between 1929 and 1934 a railway line was built above ground level and operated until the 1980s. In 1999 it was threatened with demolition, but Friends of the High Line, led by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, campaigned to have it retained.

In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg committed funds to recycle it as an urban path…

...with places to sit and relax...

...artworks to capture our attention...

...views of city life from above...

...interesting architecture along the way...

...and residents who get into the spirit of things by mounting their own art exhibitions.

What an asset for the city!

When Mevrouw T and I walked it, it was getting an excellent workout from other tourists and local joggers.

Could the idea work in other places? Could, for example, Sydney’s condemned monorail be given new life in similar fashion?

7 Comments

Filed under Art, USA

7 responses to “THE HIGH LINE – recycling, New York style

  1. Rachel

    There’s a converted elevated rail/trail in Paris – - the name is something like Plantee Promenade. Beneath the trail the arches have been filled in with artisans’ shops and (mostly) studios.

  2. I think there is something similar in Paris but I can’t remember where?

  3. steven

    yes, the Promenade Plantee is a fantastic 4 kilometre walkway above the streets of Paris in the 12th Arrondissement. Well worth a stroll. Kind of surreal peering at a city from a few metres above ground…

  4. Your pics are getting better and better every day, Richard. As is the features of the Highline walkway, from what I can see. I was there last year. The one in Paris just doesn’t compare.

  5. shawjonathan

    Hi Richard, like everyone else I was going to mention the Paris one, and also say how fabulous your photos are. Plus lament the probability that it wouldn’t work in Sydney even if here was someone willing to give it a go

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