Just before leaving in 2001, outgoing Mayor of New York City Rudy Guliani signed papers to demolish a 22-block-long, 30-feet-high green space on top of the former High Line train track. The move was made to appease developers anxious to build upon the former industrial area but came in opposition to environmental groups and residents fighting to keep the space alive and turned into a park. Thankfully, newly-elected Mayor Bloomberg saved the project from the wrecking ball and with a group called Friends of the High Line has been working to create a unique green space for New Yorkers. From the article,
“As the campaign snowballed, the High Line picked up celebrity supporters including actors Edward Norton, Kevin Bacon and Harvey Keitel, actress Glenn Close and designer Diane von Furstenberg. Adrian Benepe explains, ‘We realize that this is a neighborhood which is really bereft of park space. There’s really very little open space in the Middle West Side of Manhattan; every little bit of park space you can get is a great idea.'”
With most obstacles overcome, the High Line now looks on track to open in 2008. Once completed, visitors will ascend by stairs or escalators and step out onto “a grassy river of green.” Floating ponds, sundecks and lookout spots over various NY locales will compliment the wooden board paths laid along the path of the old train tracks. A true hanging garden in the sky. For more information, check out CNN’s article or the official site for Friends of the High Line.