Good architecture gives individual shelter, grants family a sense of belonging, and provides organization an identity. Great architecture, however, is transformative not just to individuals, families, or organizations, but to an entire community. The High Line, an elevated park along the western edge Manhattan is such architecture.
On Monday night, landscape designer James Corner and architect Ric Scofidio, both lead partners on the High Line Design Team, present renderings and concepts on the project’s final phase in front of 400+ audience members. Though construction will only be on a part of the High Line stretching from West 30th Street to West 34 Street, it might just be the most complex portion of the project. This is because it will be fully integrated to another massive undertaking, the development of West Side Rail Yards. Known to be the Hudson Yards as well, it is to be an entire neighborhood, with a total of 12 million square feet and 12 acres of public open space, build right above the existing rail. Because of the enormity of Hudson Yards, the High Line Design Team devised interim walkways to provide public access during construction. Then, portions of the High Line will assimilate into Hudson Yards buildings and vice versa. The concept calls for a mini amphitheater and Children’s Play Beams, playground monkey bars derived from massive construction steel i-beams.
Total cost for this final phase will be around $90 million dollars, of which $38 million was raised through fund raiser by Friends of the High Line, generous donations by Tiffany & Co., longtime project supporters Donald Pels and Wendy Keys, who all contributed $5 million dollars each. But it was media mogul Barry Diller and wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg‘s donation of $20 million, that started the momentum. If all goes accordingly, construction will start end of this year.