For those who think Section 2 will be a carbon copy of Section 1, think again. Corner told the Times that the new extension has its own distinct identity and unique sections that set it apart from the park we know and love. He said, “Through design, we’ve established an episodic sequence of spaces that dramatize or amplify the immediate neighborhood context that we’re moving through.”
The start of the new section is planted with a thicket of trees, creating a denser green space that juxtaposes the surrounding buildings. One of the main complaints of the current High Line is that you are not allowed to stray from the paths, so there will also be a 4,900 square foot lawn that visitors are allowed to walk and sit on in Section 2. Next to the lawn, there will be bleacher-like seating made with reclaimed teak, and at the northern end, the lawn will rise about two feet to allow for better views.
One of the most interesting elements of Section 2 is the Falcone Flyover, which is a steel walkway that takes people eight feet above the new park between 25th and 26th Streets. Magnolia trees create a leafy canopy and two tall buildings on either side make for a canyon-like space. The ground underneath the walkway is covered with moss.
At 26th Street, there will be an overlook onto 10th Avenue. The rectangle steel frame was designed to echo the billboards that once lined the railroad. When viewed from the street, the structure, called “The Viewing Spur,” will frame park visitors, creating something of a living advertisement for the High Line.
Where the park curves between 29th and 30th Streets, there will be a long radial bench made with reclaimed wood. Corner says he sees the bench becoming a meeting point and explained to the Times that elements like the bench were incorporated because of what they learned from Section 1. “Some people use it as a way to move from Point A to Point B, and think of it as a walk or a journey,” said Joshua David, founder of Friends of the High Line. “And then there are people who come and want to stay.”
Other elements of the new section include a wildflower thicket, which pays homage to the High Line’s landscape before the park. Nature’s reclamation of the railroad was well-documented by photographer Joel Sternfeld, who is credited with helping to save the line from redevelopment.
The High Line, which opened its first section two years ago, has fast become a world-famous park and saw more than 2 million visitors last year. The design, which Corner created in collaboration with architecture firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro, exemplifies urban reuse by turning an abandoned elevated freight train track into a gorgeous green public park. The park maintains a post-industrial artifact while giving us unique perspective on our surrounding urban landscape.
“We like to think of it as a place where people revel in doing nothing, which is an anomaly for New Yorkers,” Elizabeth Diller told the New York Times. “It has an unscripted, unintended, unprogrammed timelessness. You just get lost in there.”
Renderings © James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro