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June 9, 2009

Renovated High Line Now Open for Strolling


Standing on a newly renovated stretch of an elevated promenade that was once a railway line for delivering cattle “” surrounded by advocates, elected officials and architects who made the transformation happen “” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg cut a red ribbon on Monday morning to signify that the first phase of the High Line is finished and ready for strolling. Calling the High Line, which opens to the public on Tuesday, “an extraordinary gift to our city’s future,” Mr. Bloomberg said, “Today we’re about to unwrap that gift.” He added, “It really does live up to its highest expectations.”

The first portion of the three-section High Line, which runs near the Hudson River from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are entrances at Gansevoort Street (stairs) and at 16th Street (elevator); exits are located every few blocks. The second phase, which extends to 30th Street, is under construction and expected to be completed by fall 2010. The third phase, up to 34th Street, has yet to be approved.

The High Line project is something of a New York fairy tale, given that it started with a couple of guys who met at a community board meeting in 1999 “” Joshua David, a writer, and Robert Hammond, a painter “” and discovered they shared a fervent interest in saving the abandoned railroad trestle, which had been out of commission since 1980 and was slated for demolition during the Giuliani administration. That began a decade-long endeavor that involved rescuing the structure and enlisting the Bloomberg administration in its preservation and renovation.

The New York Times

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Architect: James R. Rhind