New York's Unprecedented Park

Preconceptions and lofty goals surround New York's soon-to-open High Line park. But the unprecedented inner city rail line conversion leaves much up in the air, according to this piece from The Architect's Newspaper.

"The fact is that there is no real precedent for the urban meandering offered by the High Line. In Italy, the evening stroll, or passagiato, is more of a mass milling funneling past outdoor cafes and fueled by coffee and Campari. America's rails to trails have streams, roller-bladers, and off-leash dogs-all verboten on the High Line. The closest match is the Promenade Plantée in Paris, although as Scofidio pointed out, it's more commonly used as a neighborhood shortcut than a destination unto itself."

"Great care has gone into heightening the new kind of experience on offer up on the High Line-the chaise lounges are positioned just where the sun always shines; the south end is wider and more hard-scaped to allow for social congregation-and Parks anticipates adding food concessions there-while the upper reaches where the surrounds are more residential narrow and soften with an actual lawn going in at 23rd Street. One of the more adventuresome features is the bleacher dropped down like a trap door-a favorite DS+R trope-right over 10th Avenue traffic. 'You'll see the city in a whole new way,' said Scofidio, 'not like mice scurrying around the edges of buildings. You never get into the space of the city like this.'"

Full Story: 04_High Line


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