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09.03.2008
After Industry
The High Line has captured the imagination of New Yorkers like no other project in recent memory, but when it opens in a few months, it will be one of several chunks of aging infrastructure in the area to find new life as a public space. The relics of industry that still scatter the region are reborn as elements of parks, and their reuse is representative of larger changes, too: The 19th-century stone raceways in Paterson once powered silk mills, and thus the local economy, and they will soon be put to use as part of the city's plan to develop a heritage tourism industry. In Red Hook, too, where shopping has displaced shipping as the main source of jobs, the Ikea-built Erie Basin Park sits on the old Todd Shipyard. Each of these six projects makes fresh use of a once-obsolete piece of the industrial past, and in so doing, pushes it into the future.
Concrete Plant Park remakes a long-decaying brownfield along the Bronx River.
Christopher Payne