Posts Tagged ‘New York’

The Highline in Google’s Street View

Thursday, November 10th, 2011


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What a brilliant idea! You can now take a virtual stroll along the wonderful High Line in Manhattan. Even the map whizzing along has the feeling of being on a train. It’s inspired!

New York’s High Line

Monday, October 25th, 2010

On a recent trip to New York, the main site I wanted to visit was the High Line. An old derelict railway line on the Lower West Side. The over-head freight line has been converted into a linear park with stunning planting overseen by garden designer Piet Oudolf. Some of the tracks have been kept and mixed with specially built concrete decking that follows the line of the tracks giving an energy and feeling of movement, enhanced by the swaying grasses.

The High Line's website describes the planting as, "Inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. The perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, 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."

The railway served various factories and warehouses along the track. In a few cases you can see exact spots where the old photographs on the High Line's website shows engines emerging from the warehouses. An old engine shed along the route has kept the tracks but built the ground up to level with the top of the rails, giving a safe, yet fun way to reflect its history.

I have shown some of the photos from the High Line's website alongside some of my own to show the dramatic transformation.

Let's hope this inspired project will stimulate minds in the UK to transform some of our own eyesores rather than knock them down.