The High Line

DATE: 2009
LOCATION: New York City, New York, USA
OLD USE: Elevated Railway
NEW USE: Public park


Opened in 1934 as an elevated railway, the High Line was established to provide greater safety by separating rail and street traffic. As the US invested more money in the interstate highway system in the 1950s and 60s, rail lines across the US experience decreasing traffic and use. The High Line was eventually shut down as a railway in 1980.


The non-profit Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999 to advocate for the reuse of the railway as a public open space. Through their efforts and research, New York City worked with the federal government in order to establish this new park space. The design of the park was developed through an open ideas competition.[1]


The park offers residents the opportunity to relax and walk through the city with an exciting lofted view. Still under construction, the park when completed will be a mile and a half long. It will run through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.[2] What once was a derelict expanse of unused metal now is cohesive and welcoming public amenity.

[1]The High Line
[2]The High Line

Images courtesy of The High Line.