By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on June 25, 2009 12:50 AM
The new High Line Park, an urban park in the sky, opened on June 9 to the public in New York City. It is constructed on top of the skeleton of a former rail system on building rooftops 30 feet above the ground. High Line Park is located on Manhattan’s West Side, running from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 20th Street in Chelsea, between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. The rooftop park was renovated and designed by James Corner Field Operations along with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It has wooden lawns chairs, an LED lighting system, and landscape of green plants and grass among concrete. The park is accessible from Gansevoort Street, 14th Street, 16th Street, 18th Street, and 20th Street, and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The original High Line, a 1.45-mile long steel railway, was built in the 1930s in an effort to remove freight trains from street traffic after too many accidents occurred between the two. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Nature took over after trains stopped running and became overgrown and untouched. Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999, a non-profit community-led group advocating for the High Line’s preservation and reuse as a public park. The group gained city support in 2002 with a City Council resolution supporting the High Line’s reuse. Groundbreaking and construction started in April 2006. A second section from 20th Street to 30th Street is projected to be ready in 2010, and a third and final section will come after that.