3.3 The City Without Us

Part III - The High Line

The High Line is an elevated rail structure that was constructed between 1929 and 1934 to serve the industrial and manufacturing districts along the west side of Manhattan. The High Line has not been used for rail transport since 1980 and portions of the line were demolished in the 1960’s and again in 1991. The line currently extends for 22 blocks (approximately 1.4 miles) from Gansevoort Street northwards to West 34th Street. The primary line and its spurs contain approximately 6.7 acres of elevated area occupied by gravel, grasses, shrubs, and, in some places, trees. The line varies in width and elevation, but is generally between 30 and 50 feet in width and 25 feet in height.

The reuse of the High Line as an elevated open space is a critical component of the city’s plan for the west side of Manhattan. The City of New York is currently working with CSX (the current owners of the railroad), local property owners, and the Friends of the High Line on a plan to transfer control of the High Line to the City and to rehabilitate and repurpose the High Line as a significant public open space.


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