Friends of the High Line raises 98% of the High Line’s annual budget.
Owned by the City of New York, the High Line is a public park maintained, operated, and programmed by Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
Through excellence in operations, stewardship, innovative programming, and world-class design, we seek to engage the vibrant and diverse community on and around the High Line, and to raise the essential private funding to help complete the High Line’s construction and create an endowment for its future operations.
A revitalized piece of New York City’s past
As part of the West Side Improvement Project, the High Line opens to trains. It runs from 34th Street to St John's Park Terminal, at Spring Street. It is designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, carrying goods to and from Manhattan's largest industrial district.
Following decades-long growth in the interstate trucking industry, the last train runs on the High Line in 1980, pulling three carloads of frozen turkeys. A group of property owners lobbies for demolition while Peter Obletz, a Chelsea resident, activist, and railroad enthusiast, challenges demolition efforts in court.
Friends of the High Line is founded by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, residents of the High Line neighborhood, to advocate for the High Line's preservation and reuse as public open space.
The planning framework for the High Line's preservation and reuse begins. A study done by Friends of the High Line finds that the High Line project is economically rational, and leads to an open ideas competition, Designing the High Line.
Friends of the High Line and the City of New York conduct a process to select a design team for the High Line. The selected team is James Corner Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf, planting designer.
The City accepts ownership of the High Line which is donated by CSX Transportation, Inc. in November 2005; Groundbreaking is celebrated in April 2006.
June 9, 2009
Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street) opens to the public.
June 8, 2011
Section 2 (West 20th Street to West 30th Street) opens to the public.
The New York City Planning Commission approves a zoning text amendment for High Line at the Rail Yards. Groundbreaking is celebrated on the High Line at the Rail Yards September 20, 2012.
September 21, 2014
The third and northernmost section on the park, the High Line at the Rail Yards, opens to the public. Friends of the High Line celebrates 15 years of successful advocacy to preserve the entire structure.
Exceptional architecture and plant design
The High Line design is a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations (Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.
Converting each section of the High Line from an out-of-use railroad trestle to a public landscape entailed not only years of planning, community input, and work by some of the city's most inventive designers, but also more than two years of construction per section.
The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are incorporated into the park's landscape.