Anish Agrawal September 30, 2011 The Dimensions of Art Professor Grace

The High Line (NYC) The High Line Park, best known as the lifeline of New York, is uniquely designed thirty feet above the ground on an old railway track. The park is situated in a track field, which was once an elevated railway line that ran down along the west side of Manhattan for transportation. It transported valuable goods to the factories and warehouses that lined that part of town. Decay weakened the rails to the point of collapse, but Friends of the High Line, a private organization sought to preserve them. I appreciate the transformation of the High Line from a flake railway to a New York hotspot, which makes it a true hidden gem of the city. The park’s construction is like a musical composition following one architectural theme, which is continuous throughout. The planting system, the landscape architecture, and the materials used are all based on one theme making it an explicit construction. Designed by landscape architectural firm James Corner Field Operations in collaboration with architecture Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the High Line features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic foliage. Fixed and movable seating, lighting, and special features included in the park make it exquisite and eye-catching. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are incorporated into the park’s landscape, creating well-adapted, site-specific scenery. The species of perennials, grasses, and trees were chosen for their sustainability and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. The construction is exceptionally purposeful. People who come there will walk 20 blocks which they would never do 30 feet below. The flights stairs brings you slowly up; brings you

Anish Agrawal September 30, 2011 The Dimensions of Art Professor Grace

under the structure lest you appreciate this kind of wild construction and then you immerse into the landscape. As the construction is 30 feet above the ground, the area is lot more breezy. The park rules prohibit bicycles, use of skateboards, skates, or recreational scooters making the park ideal for walking. In addition, the imaginative public environment on the highline contains special features, including a water feature, viewing platforms, a sundeck, and gathering areas. A remarkable construction at the park is the Grand Stand that looks down 10th Avenue through a glass wall that turns the view into something like a wide screen movie with traffic and pedestrians playing the action. Still Life With Landscape, designed by Sarah Sze, is an amazing sculpture. Made up of stainless steel and wood, the artwork provides shelter for birds flying around the park and is an awe inspiring urban construction that attempts to capture nature in situ. I appreciate that the materials brought in by the designers for the High Line—the concrete in the planks, steel, wood, and other materials were selected based on life-cycle costs to reduce the need to replace and dispose of materials after a short time. The wood used on the High Line is an FSC-certified ipe hardwood, sustainably harvested from a managed forest, selected for its durability and reputed life-span of up to 100 years (The High LIne). The High line Park is a symbolic representation of remarkable landscape architecture. It has not merely preserved the old railway line; it has brought back life as a fully functioning and complementary part of the city. It is a new kind of park.

Anish Agrawal September 30, 2011 The Dimensions of Art Professor Grace

Works Cited "The High Line." The High Line. 26 Sept. 2011. Web. 30 Sept. 2011. <http://thehighline.org>.

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