section 2 of the high line now open in new york
original content
jun 09, 2011
section 2 of the high line now open in new york

section 2 of ‘the high line’ by james corner field operations and diller scofidio + renfro in new york city
(above) view of ‘wildflower field’, looking north tower west 29th street
image © iwan baan
all images courtesy of the high line




just in time for the summer, section 2 of the high line has officially opened to the public in new york city. designed by new york-based practices james corner field operations and diller scofidio + renfro, the one mile long urban park is recycled from the former elevated freight railroad spur and runs from gansevvort street in the meatpacking district to west 34th street, between 10th and 11th avenues.

aerial view from west 21st street, looking south along 10th avenue toward the hjust in time for the summer, section 2 of the high line has officially opened to the public in new york city.udson river
image © iwan baan




new to the high line with the opening section 2 include additional access points at west 23rd street, west 26th street, west 28th street, and west 30th street. the entire park is fully wheelchair-accessible with two elevators at west 30th street and west 23rd street, supplementing the two existing elevators at west 14th and 16th streets.


a number of design features are also introduced to the public, such as ‘chelsea thicket’, a prairie-like landscape that stretches between west 20th and west 22nd streets; the ‘lawn and seating steps’, a 455 m2 grass yard and seating made from reclaimed teak at west 22nd and west 23rd streets; the ‘falcone flyover’, a metal walkway over the high line with a living canopy between west 45th and west 26th streets; and the ‘wildflower field’, a straight walkway running between west 26th and west 29th streets alongside a hardy landscape of various species.

elevation of ‘wildflower field’
image © iwan baan




full descriptions of the new design features:


wildflower field

between west 26th and west 29th streets, the landscape of the wildflower field is dominated by hardy, drought-resistance grasses and wildflowers, and features a mix of species that ensures variation in blooms throughout the growing season. the simplicity of the straight walkway, running alongside the wildflowers interspersed between the original railroad tracks, allows visitors to appreciate the green axis of the high line, as it moves through the city.

‘radial bench’, a long wooden bench that curves with the pathway for an entire city block
image © iwan baan




radial bench

at west 29th street, the high line begins a long, gentle curve towards the hudson river, signifying a transition to the west side rail yards. the high line’s pathway echoes the curve, and a long bank of wooden benches sweep westward along the edge of the pathway. planting beds behind and in front of the benches line the curve with greenery.

‘chelsea thicket’, a densely-plated area of trees and shrbs between west 20th and west 22nd street
image © iwan baan




chelsea thicket

as visitors move north from the chelsea grasslands’ prairie-like landscape, a dense planting of flowering shrubs and small trees indicates the beginning of a new section of the park, between west 20th and west 22nd streets. in the chelsea thicket, species like winterberry, redbud, and large american hollies provide year-round textural and color variation. an under-planting of low grasses, sedges, and shade-tolerant perennials further emphasizes the transition from grassland to thicket.

a straight pathway that run alongside wildflowers and the original railroad tracks
image © iwan baan

in front of  ‘HL23′ by los-angeles based firm neil denari architects
click here for our earlier coverage of the project
image © iwan baan




26th street viewing spur

hovering above the historic rail on the east side of the high line at west 26th street, the viewing spur’s frame is meant to recall the billboards that were once attached to the high line. now the frame enhances, rather than blocks, views of the city. tall shrubs and trees flank the viewing spur’s frame, while a platform with wood benches invites visitors to sit and enjoy views of 10th avenue and chelsea.

’26th street viewing spur’, looking east
image © iwan baan

the ’26th street viewing spur’ in use.
image © barry munger




23rd street lawn and seating steps

the high line opens to a wider area between west 22nd and west 23rd streets, where an extra pair of rail tracks once served the loading docks of adjacent warehouses. the extra width in this area was used to create a gathering space, with seating steps made of reclaimed teak anchoring the southern end of a 4,900-square-foot lawn. at its northern end, the lawn ‘peels up’, lifting visitors several feet into the air and offering views of brooklyn to the east and the hudson river and new jersey to the west.

’23rd street lawn and seating steps’, a gathering space between west 22nd and west 23rd street
image © iwan baan

the ’23rd street lawn’ in use
image © iwan baan




philip a. and lisa maria falcone flyover

between west 25th and west 26th streets, adjacent buildings create a microclimate that once cultivated a dense grove of tall shrubs and trees. now, a metal walkway rises eight feet above the high line, allowing groundcover plants to blanket the undulating terrain below, and carrying visitors upward, into a canopy of sumac and magnolia trees. at various points, overlooks branch off the walkway, creating opportunities to pause and enjoy views of the plantings below and the city beyond.

‘falcone flyover’, an elevated pathway between west 25th and west 27th street
image © iwan baan

‘fancone flyover’ in use
image © iwan baan

aerial view of ‘falcone flyover’
image © iwan baan

evening view of ‘falcone flyover’
image © iwan baan

(left) aerial view of ‘rainbow city’ presented by AOL, an environmental and interactive art installation by friendswithyou
image © friends of the high line
(right) aerial view of ’30th street cut-out and viewing platform’
image © friends of the high line

aerial view from from west 30th street, looking west toward the empire state building
image © iwan baan

aerial view from west 30th street, looking south toward the statue of liberty and the world trade center site
image © iwan baan


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