The city of New York has agreed to provide a whopping $5 million in cash to the High Line Park, which is scheduled to begin construction on its third (and final) half-mile section in the near future. The capital injection will definitely come in handy but many are baffled as to why such a small (6.73 acre) and already well-funded park would lay claim to so much of the budget which allots a total of $105 million to New York City’s 142 park projects.
Unlike Brooklyn Bridge Park, which relies almost entirely on the city for funding, the High Line receives 90% (roughly $3 million a year) through Friends of the High Line. Even more remarkable is that Friends of the High Line co-founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond told the New York Times in 2011 that they had already raised $85 million of their $150 fundraising goal (and expected to raise the rest through additional private funding).
The High Line’s private funders don’t seem to mess around either: Tiffany and Company Foundation gave a $5 million challenge grant in 2011 while The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation provided a miraculous $20 million to pay for construction. In addition to private funding the elevated park garners funds from the majority of the food sellers situated beneath it, a unique arrangement no other New York park can lay claim to.
So why such a generous bump to an already well-endowed park? Most park advocates are stumped, but Friends are of the High Line aren’t complaining.
Photos by Leonel Lima Ponce for Inhabitat