The High Line - Jersey Style

Can Jersey City duplicate the success of NYC's High Line? If they can get through the litigation, it could happen in the the form of The Embankment, a relic railroad running above an historic neighborhood. A preservation group leads the effort.

On the three-year anniversary of NYC's High Line, WNYC's Sharyn Jackson reports on the 13-year effort to convert an abandoned, elevated spur of the Pennsylvania Railroad running through Jersey City into a thriving open space, based on the model of the world-renowned elevated line running along Manhattan's west side.

"Jersey City residents and government officials are closer than ever to concluding a 13-year battle to acquire the Embankment and turn it into an open space at the center of this urban neighborhood," notes Jackson. "The process has been saddled by a series of lawsuits involving the city, private developer Steve Hyman and railroad company Conrail, over who has the right to own the property. The issue hinges on arcane federal railroad law over whether Conrail's sale of the property to Hyman in 2003 for $3 million was legal."

Jackson interviews Stephen Gucciardo, "the president of the Embankment Preservation Coalition, a group that has fought to preserve the rail spur that slices through the historic Harsimus Cove neighborhood. The tracks haven't been used since the early 1990s."

Robert Hammond, the co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line, "serves on the advisory council for the Embankment. He thinks the 'Embankment has a whole other feel to it' than the High Line."

"It feels more natural in some ways because of these stone walls. And then what's growing up there is so much more robust and stronger than anything that was ever growing up on the High Line. In the Embankment, you really feel like you have a forest in the middle of Jersey City," he explained.

Note the rendering of the Embankment.

In addition to the text, the article is on audio tape on WNYC.

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

Full Story: Using the High Line as a Model, Jersey City Bets on the Embankment

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