Designs of the final segment of The High Line
Initial design concepts for the third and final leg of the High Line were unveiled 12 March at a community meeting held to encourage public input. The third segment of the park, which is known as the rail yards section and is where Joel Sternfeld captured his most iconic photographs with sweeping views of the Hudson River and the Empire State Building from the High Line’s deck, will wrap around Hudson Yards, a new 12 million sq ft mixed used development project currently underway, and stretch between West 30th and West 34 Streets.
With a new density along this section and with the incorporation of the 10th Avenue spur, the widest area on the High Line, the design team of James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro have populated this segment of the park with a robust program and new features such as a new Peel-Up benches, rail track walk, performance space, innovative play feature for kids, and an interim walkway over existing, self-seeded landscape.
While the Peel-Up bench seating can be found elsewhere on the High Line, the ones proposed here will evolve into a new family of elements to offer seamless transitions from the walkway to more seating, play features, planters, and more. The incorporation of the Spur is particularly noteworthy as its width presents the opportunity to build an amphitheatre with seating for performances. Most interesting is the children’s play area, which will be created by removing the High Line’s concrete deck to reveal the original beams and girders of the rail line, which will be covered with a thick rubber coating to ensure a safe play environment.
New landscape at the rail yards will extend the park’s distinctive design vocabulary, evoking the High Line’s history as an active freight line and the unique self-seeded landscape that grew up between the tracks when the trains stopped running in 1980. The new landscape will feature Piet Oudolf’s naturalistic planting design and the High Line’s original tracks. Floating above the self-seeded landscape will be a walkway that will wind along the curve of the High Line at West 30th Street and 12th Avenue, providing visitors an opportunity to see the original railroad tracks and the Hudson River in a whole new way.