The entire length of New York's High Line is increasingly being buried between dense blocks of mid-rise luxury residential buildings. One of the pleasures of the elevated walkway is the view it allows out to the surrounding city, but the park's viewing spots are increasingly being blocked by new buildings replacing surface parking lots along the walkway. The 10th Avenue and 17th street overlook, with its tiered seating facing north up the broad avenue, is still one of the best public spaces in the city. Now the Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit that runs the walkway is preparing a spectacular new viewing site along the elevated public/private park. The space is a spur off the main trunk line of the old rail bed that crosses over 10th Avenue at 30th Street. It stands dead center over 10th Avenue and allows for spectacular views up and down the wide boulevard. AN was given a tour of the still unopened spur by Cecilia Alemani from High Line Art and Adam Ganser, vice president for planning and design for the park. The overlook is set to open in April 2019 is currently being prepared to house a plinth upon which High Line Arts will place a rotating series of sculptures visible for cars driving north on the one-way boulevard. The first art project on the plinth will be Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman by Brooklyn’s Simone Leigh. The sculpture's head, which will be clearly visible to the street below, is crowned by an afro, with cornrow braids that end with cowrie shells. The sculptor claims the female bronze is influenced by the architectural styles of “Benin, Cameroon, and Chad, a restaurant from the American South and Batammaliba architecture” from Togo. The skirted torso will have the effect of serving as an obelisk supporting a perspectival view that virtually never occurs in a city of gridded streets that never end in a public space. The overlook is the perfect place for a public viewing platform, and High Line Arts is preparing to make it the city’s next great public space.
Posts tagged with "Friends of the High Line":
The first-ever “Hat Party on the High Line” event drew a rowdy crowd of art, culture, fashion, and architecture aficionados to the elevated park last night courtesy of the Friends of the High Line, with proceeds going to support the park’s continued operation and atmosphere of inclusivity. The night was sponsored by a huge host committee made up of some of architecture’s biggest names (including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, BIG, James Corner Field Operations, Zaha Hadid Architects, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and more) and hosted by Diane von Furstenberg. Perhaps the biggest draw was the 9:00 PM hat contest, where guests strutted their stuff on a runway in front of judges Alan Cumming, Aki Sasamoto, Florent Morellet, Charles Renfro, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, and Vi Vacious and Acid Betty from RuPaul's Drag Race. Partygoers rose to the challenge and presented their wildest hats, most of them inspired by the plant life and views of the High Line, to raucous applause. While BIG debuted a twisting-tower hat reminiscent of their High Line-topping XI, Zaha Hadid Architects 3D printed a swooping blue and white hat reminiscent of the curves found at 520 West 28th, and other studios including SOM and DS+R all competed to take home the crown. Ultimately the night was won by Vinayak Portonovo of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), seen modeling the studio’s contribution; a glitzy take on PAU’s plan for the new Penn Station.
Robert Hammond, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the High Line (FHL), the organization that funds and maintains the High Line in Manhattan, recently expressed doubts about whether the park has fulfilled its original purpose. “We were from the community. We wanted to do it for the neighborhood,” said Hammond in an interview with City Lab. “Ultimately, we failed.” The article points to issues of equity and inclusivity in public space as the cause for concern. The success of the High Line has far outpaced the FHL's original estimates of 300,000 visitors a year; the linear park attracted 7.6 million visitors in 2015 alone. However, in an FHL report of the same year, the data shows that only 458,000 were from the “High Line area” and on average 45% of the visitors were nonwhite. While the report notes these numbers are much better than previous years, the question of whether the High Line has produced equitable urban space is still up for debate. Increases in real estate values due to development in the neighborhoods that touch the High Line are estimated to generate almost $1 billion dollars in tax revenues over the next 20 years. Further investigation is needed to see how those funds will directly benefit lower income residents in the area. Hammond penned a note on the FHL website saying his previous statement was truncated and “inadvertently gives the impression that I think the High Line has not been a success. That couldn't be farther from the truth or what I believe personally.” The organization has in recent years sought to broaden its coalition and recalibrate its efforts to address the issues of access to high-quality parks for diverse stakeholders. This has manifested into the creation of more public programming and the High Line Network, a coalition of designers invested in developing parks projects in other cities across the U.S. and Canada. The Network has met several times since its inception and has focused on projects like the L.A. River rehabilitation and Atlanta’s rail-to-trails Beltline.
Joshua David, the co-founder and former president of Friends of the High Line, has been named as the new president of the World Monuments Fund (WMF). He will succeed retiring president Bonnie Burnham who has been in the role since 1985. The change is effective November 2nd. For the last half century, the WMF has been working with its partners around the globe to protect and preserve architectural monuments from threats natural and manmade. “Josh’s ability to marry collaborative restoration with community engagement makes him an excellent choice to lead World Monuments Fund into the 21st century,” Burnham said in a statement. “Based on his experience of working with preservationists and architects for the last 16 years, the Board unanimously agreed that he was the right leader to steward World Monuments Fund as we begin our next 50 years.” For his own part, David said: “It’s critical that we continue World Monuments Fund’s vital work to preserve and steward sites of architectural, artistic, and cultural significance around the world. These sites connect us to our past and inspire us to build a better future. I’m honored to succeed Bonnie in leading World Monuments Fund’s talented team to carry out this essential mission.”
This week, Friends of the High Line revealed the design concept for the third and final section of the High Line with a tantalizing set of renderings from James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Beginning at the intersection of 10th Avenue and West 30th Street, the latest addition, known as the High Line at the Rail Yards, will wrap westward around Related Companies’ impending Hudson Yards mega-development before culminating on 34th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. The highlight of Phase 3 is undoubtedly the large, tree-lined amphitheater that will float above the 10th Avenue and 30th Street. Dubbed the Spur, the lush, verdant bowl will offer an intimate, semi-enclosed seating area and public restrooms, while serving as a gateway to Hudson Yards and the High Line’s final stretch. The whole project, estimated to cost $76 million, is scheduled to open to the public in late 2014, though according to the Friends of the High Line, we may have to wait another year or two for the Spur. Located at the widest section of the elevated park, the Spur will provide an immersive woodland environment just a few blocks from the heart of Midtown. Encircled by wood-be forest of Snakebark maples, black tupelo trees, ferns, perennials and woodland grasses, the space will contain tiered seating amidst a lush, urban wilderness. Combing skyward views of Hudson Yard’s forthcoming skyscrapers with James Corner’s signature naturalism, the Spur will offer what is sure to be a truly unique park experience. Friends of the Highline have committed to raise $36 million, culled form private donations, for the final stage of the the park. Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, as part of their Hudson Yards development, are on board to contribute $29.2 million to the project’s construction and continued maintenance, while the Bloomberg administration and City Council allocated $11 million in capital funding.
Hudson Yards broke ground late last year, but the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower that will one day be the headquarters of fashion-label Coach isn't the only construction activity causing a buzz on the 26-acre site on Manhattan's West Side. Wrapping around the south and west sides of the Hudson Yards site, construction crews are busy building out the final segment of the High Line, including sandblasting and refurbishing the steel viaduct, repainting the steel structure's beams, girders, and columns with the High Line's signature "Greenblack" color, and removing and storing existing railroad tracks. Landscape construction is expected to begin later this spring. The Friends of the High Line recently stopped by the construction site with photographer Timothy Schenck to take these photos of work in progress. Be sure to take a look at James Corner Field Operations' design for the final segment here. Photography by Timothy Schenck, used with permission of Friends of the High Line.
Robert Hammond and Joshua David met at a community board meeting in 1999. The future of the then rusting and decrepit High Line was on the docket, and it was very much in doubt. The two joined forces to create Friends of the High Line, a non-profit that led the charge for the preservation and transformation of the disused line rail into a linear park. Today, Hammond announced he will step down as the organization's executive director, saying, in a statement, "My passion has always been in starting new things, and I am looking forward to pursuing whatever my next project may be. In my heart I am an entrepreneur."
In a unanimous vote today, the New York City Planning Commission approved Jamsestown Properties' plans for expansion at Chelsea Market with few modifications. The building was rezoned to be included in the Special West Chelsea District, thereby allowing developers to increase density after a significant contribution is made to the High Line. Much to the quite literal relief of High Line visitors, this likely means bathrooms will finally find their way to the southern section of the park. The latest designs by Studios Architecture set the massing of the Tenth Avenue addition back away from the park, which Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden expressed concern about during a review session. Jamestown Properties has also agreed provide funds and space for park amenities, like bathrooms, as well funds for affordable housing in Community Board 4 district. "While affordable housing bonuses are not normally associated with commercial buildings, there are special features of the West Chelsea district regulations which make this possible,"said Burden. "I believe this will be a great addition to the West Chelsea neighborhood," she continued. "The additional office space will serve what has become a destination for creative and technology industries, and this new development will provide critical amenities to the High Line." Nevertheless, community activists remain concerned about traffic and congestion from the park and resulting building boom. This was no secret to those attending CB4 meetings, but the controversy roared into the open with Jeremiah Moses' oped piece in Sunday's New York Times under the head, "Disney on the Hudson," which claimed "the park is destroying neighborhoods as it grows." The sound-off got a swift response from the many, including Friends of the High Line founders Joshua David and Mark Hammond who found Moses' claims "an unfortunate simplification of our past and current reality." The current reality for parks is a public/private financing model, thus David and Hammond's support for the Jamestown project and the resulting park amenities it provides. "This is clearly a deal between the Friends, City Planning, and Jamestown," said Save Chelsea's David Holowka. He noted that the majority of the massing will gravitate toward the park rather than the Ninth Avenue. Regardless of where the bulk will land, some will never be appeased with further expansion. "The amenities are cold comfort," said Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "The development will increase traffic and congestion to an area that’s already busting at the seams." Berman added that the West Chelsea Special District already allows for substantial growth for many years to come. The measure will now go before City Council and speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes the Chelsea Market. The expansion is considered by some to be a litmus test of where the mayoral candidate's loyalties lie, with the NIMBYs or the development community.
Today the City and Friends of the High Line announced the acquisition of the third and final portion of the abandoned rail line from CSX, securing once and for all its future as a linear park. The section, which extends into what will become Hudson Yards, will add another half mile to the leafy line. CSX donated the line to the city. Final design work for the third phase is underway. Construction is set to begin later this year.
When preliminary designs for the third and final section of the High Line were revealed, the designers presented several options including flowerbeds and amphitheater seating for the Tenth Avenue Spur, an offshoot of the park that stands above the intersection of 10th Avenue and 30th Street. The design team’s aim is to make the Spur one of the main gathering spaces in the park. Now, with the proposal of a massive installation by artist Jeff Koons calling for a suspended locomotive over the park, the Spur may become exhibition space as well. Koons’ Train, a full-scale replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive, would be suspended above the High Line by a crane. The sculpture would be constructed from steel and carbon fiber, weighing in at several tons. Visitors to the park could stand directly below the 70-foot-long sculpture and stare up at the locomotive as it spins its wheels, blows its horn, and shoots out steam several times daily. Train has some history with the High Line; there was an effort in 2005 to install the piece in a plaza at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue but the space available would not permit installation. In 2008, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Michael Govan began studying the feasibility of installing the piece in conjunction with LACMA’s expansion, and talks with the City of Los Angeles are ongoing. But while LACMA managed to haul a 340-ton rock from a mountain quarry through the streets of LA, it seems their Train may have left the station. Both the museum and Koons have expressed support for installing Train at the High Line regardless of the outcome in LA, so the possibility of a trans-continental Train still exists. Arnold, a German fabricator, is conducting engineering and fabrication studies, taking into account public safety and cost. The piece is estimated to cost at least $25 million to build and install. Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, explained on the Friends of the High Line Blog, “Our top priority is to build and open the rail yards section of the High Line. In order for this idea to become a reality, we would need to determine a way to safely integrate Train into the rail yards design, and find private support from a single funder to build it.”
Tonight, the design team from the High Line will present plans for Section 3 to the community. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe will introduce James Corner from the project's lead team, James Corner Field Operations, and Ricardo Scofidio from Diller Scofidio + Renfro. High Line co-founder Robert Hammond will moderate a post presentation discussion. Unlike the last two sections of the High Line, Section 3 will be intimately integrated with one major developer, as opposed to a variety of property owners and stakeholders. From 30th to 34th Street, the High Line wraps around Hudson Yards, the 12 million square foot office and residential district being developed by Related Companies. Much of the new section will be built cheek by jowl with Related's construction. At the westernmost section overlooking the Hudson River, an interim walkway will span the existing self-seeded landscape, so as coordinated design efforts alongside Related's development and give Friends of the High Line time to raise more funds. The estimated total cost of capital construction on the High Line at the rail yards is $90 million. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2013 with a full public opening in spring 2014. All renderings courtesy Friends of the High Line. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
Cecilia Alemani has been named the new curator and director of the High Line Art Program. Previously, Alemani had worked as an independent curator and writer, and is currently a guest curator for the upcoming Performa 11. Lucinda Sanders has been named the 2012 President of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Her tenure will begin on October 30, 2011 at the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) annual meeting. Sanders is the CEO and a partner at OLIN. The Washington, DC office of Perkins Eastman has announced that J. Scott Kilbourn will join as a Principal and Chief Operating Officer. Kilbourn has more than 28 years of design and planning experience. Most recently, he was Vice President at RTKL where he worked in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, and DC. Suanne Bassett, principal of Suba—Connecting through Architecture and Interior Design, is re-launching her firm. Bassett, who is licensed in California and New York, returns to her own practice after several years of collaborating with local San Francisco Bay Area firms. Corey Martin has been named principal at Portland firm THA Architecture. Previously, Martin worked at Richard Potestio and Allied Works before co-founding Portland-based PATH Architecture with partner Ben Kaiser in 2005. Perkins+Will has announced that Wayne Perlenfein has joined the firm as prinicipal and will focus on federal government in the Washington DC office. Previously, Perlenfein ran his own firm of Rogers, Perlenfein & Associates and was also the jurisdiction executive and senior program manager for planning, design and construction for the Architect of the Capitol in Washington DC. The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) in New York City has announced its 2012 class of fellows. The program spans four weeks and includes instruction by Columbia Business School faculty, a six-month mentorship, a week-long museum residency, and long-term team-based project. Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org!