The High Line Phase 3 Plans Look Amazing!

Published on Apr 3, 2012

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We love the High Line at Urban Edge, and the recently revealed plans for the High Line Phase 3 have us doing a little happy dance for what is to come.

It's been almost three years since the NYC's High Line changed the face of the western side of Chelsea, its clever, contemporary architectural design and a landscaping that embraces wild grasses and flowers earning instant, international acclaim, attracting huge, contented crowds of both tourists and locals alike, and sparking a real estate development boom all up and down 10th Avenue. The High Line Phase One, running from Gansevoort to 20th Streets, opened in 2009 and was a revelation.

The High Line Phase Two followed in the summer of 2011, taking the park up another half mile to 30th Street, and offering the same great look-and-feel as the original stretch as well as adding plenty of new surprises. And now, the excitement and accolades continue with High Line Phase 3, renditions of which were released last week by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with an eye toward a June 2014 opening date.

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Called "The High Line at the Rail Yards", the High Line Phase 3 will weave in and out of the massive Hudson Yards project, which will start construction in earnest this year, and, when the neighborhood-creating complex is finished sometime in the unknown future, will include office towers, a large retail presence, a cultural center, and residential towers, including thousands of new Manhattan rental apartments.

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The High Line Phase 3 will stretch the park up to 34th Street, run over to 12th Avenue, and from these initial drawings has lots to look forward to. A few of my favorite features: the play space, for which the High Line's concrete deck will be removed, the structure's original beams and girders revealed, the whole "subterranean" area covered with a thick rubber safety coating; the amphitheater /performance space which, if the stadium-seating spots in the High Line's first two sections are any indication, should be enormously popular; and the continuation and expansion of the "peel-ups", including new peel-up picnic tables, peel-up workspaces, and even a peel-up seesaw.

The whole High Line Phase 3 will cost around $90 million, a third of which is coming from the coffers of Related Ltd., one of the Hudson Yards developers.

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But there's obviously no need to wait until June 2014 to enjoy the High Line. In additional to all of the usual High Line awesomeness--involving, but by no means limited to: strolling, reading, eating, flirting, napping, relaxing--there are such High Line special events as the excellent Social Soup Experiment last fall, at which I ate three (maybe it was four?) bowls of outstanding soup with 99 other folks at a long communal table (more things like this, please, High Line and friends); and the Trisha Brown Dance Company's Roof Piece last summer, when dancers put on a series of lovely twenty-minute shows, dancing on, near, and above the High Line.

And going on right now at the High Line, for another couple of weeks, through April 10? Eyeballing, an outdoor video program, projected onto the side of a building at 22nd Street (and, so, nicely viewable from the High Line's "Seating Steps" on that same block) consisting of three short films "which are connected through a shared perspective of the Manhattan streetscape," according to the High Line Channel page on the High Line website. It continues: "Each film presents the camera as a means of a poetic and critical examination of city life." Sounds like a good excuse to get over there on one of these unseasonably warm nights in the near future.

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