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The High Line

In 1847, New York City authorized street level rails to be installed and used to ship freight in Manhattan’s lower west side. With the number of accidents between trains and other traffic rising with the population, the city decided something needed to be done. In 1929, the tracks were elevated as part of the west side improvement project, which eliminated 105 street level crossings.[1]

The 1.45 mile long elevated rail opened to trains in 1934. It was built over the centre of blocks so it could connect directly to factories and warehouses.[2] The rise of the trucking industry greatly decreased the railway traffic in the 1950s[3] and the last train passed over the tracks in 1980.[4]

The elevated railway lands lay unused and overgrown until 2006, when they were donated to the city by CSX Transportation Inc. and construction began for its redesign as an aerial park. The Highline’s first phase opened in 2009, with a second and third opening in 2011 and 2014 respectively.[5]

The elevated greenway has over 200 species of naturalized plantings inspired by the landscape that had overtaken the unused lands.[6] There are several stretches of railroad track along the pathway to recall the land’s former use and art installations dot the parkway. The Highline offers a great view of the City and the Hudson River. It also passes through several buildings, where the railway connected to warehouses.

[1] “High Line (New York City),” Wikipedia, July 27, 2015, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Line_(New_York_City).

[2] “About the High Line,” Friends of the High Line, July 27, 2015, www.thehighline.org/about.

[3] “High Line (New York City),” Wikipedia, July 27, 2015, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Line_(New_York_City).

[4] “About the High Line,” Friends of the High Line, July 27, 2015, www.thehighline.org/about.

[5] “High Line (New York City),” Wikipedia, July 27, 2015, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Line_(New_York_City).

[6] Ibid

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