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Critic's Review: Third Phase of the High Line

New York Times Architecture Critic Michael Kimmelman reviews the third phase of the High Line, which opened September 21, 2014.
September 22, 2014, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The gist of Michael Kimmelman's New York Times review: "If the newest, last stretch of the High Line doesn’t make you fall in love with New York all over again, I really don’t know what to say."

Here is a sampling of the review's sweeping statements about the High Line, its impact on the city, and the soon-to-be-overhauled neighborhood the third phase of the park will weave itself through:

  • "But this third phase completes a kind of narrative, which the two earlier phases started, about 21st-century New York as a greener, sleeker metropolis, riven by wealth, with an anxious eye in the rearview mirror. It is a Rorschach test, signifying different things — about urban renewal, industry, gentrification, the environment — to different people." 
  • "James Corner Field Operations designed the High Line with Diller Scofidio & Renfro. Mr. Corner calls the city around the park its “borrowed landscape.” The inimitability of those surroundings, and the park’s site-specific detailing, are major reasons the so-called High Line effect has been, like the Bilbao one, fool’s gold for so many other cities that have wanted to follow in New York’s footsteps."
  • "The designers avoided pressure to top themselves with the third section, and went the other way. A simple shift in orientation of the planks, where two benches crisscross, suffices to signal the High Line’s turn from north-south to east-west. The turn opens onto a wide plaza, the park’s new crossroad, with stairs connecting to Hudson Yards and what will be Hudson Park and Boulevard beyond."
  • "With more limited construction funds, the strategy in this part of the park was bare bones: Rusty tracks are filled in with bonded gravel to make a level path; timber dunnage is stacked to make a bleacher from which people can peer out at the water and over the rail yards; and nature is left to its own devices, giving visitors a glimpse of how the High Line looked before its makeover."
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Published on Saturday, September 20, 2014 in New York Times
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