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The High Line in Manhattan, New York City

From an odious freight railroad to an iconic public park: a remarkable way of the High Line.

In the mid 20th century it was a rail line elevated over the Manhattan streets. It was built to restore a 1800s freight rail line that stretched the same level as the other road and therefore would constantly kill pedestrians. The new structure was called then the West Side Elevated Line.

Once a rescuer, however, in the 1980s it became needless due to traffic decline (and finally its total cessation). The rails lost the competition with the trucks.

There were voices to completely demolish an eyesore of the rusty construction. These ideas were realized - but just partially: in the 1960s the southernmost section - from Spring St. to Bank St. - was destroyed, in 1991 they turned to five more blocks (from Bank St. to Gansevoort St.) 

It was nature that helped to save the structure. In the late 1990s some people noticed that the old railings and ties were overgrown by plants. A former rail line magically turned into a wild garden! This view inspired Elevated Line supporters to found Friends of the High Line, a non-profit conservancy, to advocate for its preservation and reuse. 

In 2009 the first section of the High Line opened to the public. Two more followed in the next few years. Nowadays it is a peaceful park with wild flowers, a wooden walkway, numerous benches and stunning views (the sunsets over the Hudson River are a must!). Different art events take place in the High Line, too.


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