The High Line Park was designed by architects from James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, together with garden designer Piet Oudolf. The park runs through New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in the lower west side of Manhattan. It is situated along 1.5 miles of repurposed elevated railway.
The park was completed in 2009 and it is a catalyst for the regeneration of the Chelsea area. Stephen Burke says that “for decades, [the High Line] was an overgrown railroad track, left over from an era when elevated trains roared through Manhattan. Today it’s a multi-million dollar park that’s welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors a day.”
For inspiration, Oudolf looked at the existing landscape that grew on the High Line after the trains stopped running. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness – sustainability with a focus on native species. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are incorporated into the park’s landscape.
At the southern end of the park, construction is under way on Renzo Piano’s new building for The Whitney Museum of American Art. The Museum is moving across town to the Meatpacking District, from its current location on Madison Avenue.
“All of these new contemporary projects probably wouldn’t have been placed here had it not been for the High Line.” says Burks.