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a #Hyperlapse tour of the High Line at the Yards in 15 seconds!

With the third and final section of the High Line opening today, the High Line restoration project, which has been 16 years in the making – is finally complete. As most people probably know at this point, the High Line was originally an elevated freight train track which allowed merchants to ship meat to and from NYC’s “meatpacking district”. Rail infrastructure went into decline in the 70s, and the very last train made its final journey on the High Line in 1980, carrying three cars of frozen turkeys. After that, the High Line was boarded up and went into serious disrepair, as graffiti and trash took over the landscape, and then finally, as native plants self-seeded and took over the tracks, it reverted to a pre-industrial wilderness state with wildflowers, trees, bees and birds. Chelsea residents and High Line neighbors Joshua David and Robert Hammond founded Friends of The High Line in 1999 with the goal of restoring the elevated, dilapidated train tracks to public use and turning the decaying infrastructure into an urban oasis for the community. Despite a mayor who tried to destroy the High Line (Guiliani), and a complete lack of interest at first from politicians and city officials, Friends of the High Line managed to gradually convince the community and ultimately the powers-that-be that this historic structure needed to be saved and turned into a park, and the first section of the restored park opened in 2009.

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With the copy-cat High Lines that are springing up in every city around the world, and the throngs of international tourists that clog NYS’c world-famous High Line today, it is hard to imagine that the proposal to save and restore the old train track was once considered a crazy idea. It is a testament to all of the blood, sweat and tears of Friends of the High Line and the resilience and determination of New Yorkers that this project ever came to fruition

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Architects James Corner Field Operations who Inhabitat interviewed back in 2009 – and Diller Scofidio + Renfro released a rendering of the new section last year, revealing their plans to adaptively reuse elements of the famed railway surrounding Hudson Yards. Today, the results of that planning can be seen in the brilliant reveal, with sections of train tracks incorporated as interim walkways, allowing visitors to experience the landscape as it once was, back before the tourist. For the younger visitor, part of the railway beams have been coated in silicon to create a play area for kids to explore. If you are looking for an escape from city life, the rugged path is peppered with wildflowers and tall grasses, its greenery winding through the surrounding architecture, as if it were a naturally growing part of the landscape.

Related: The High Line’s Final Section Will Harken Back to a Wonderfully Wild Aesthetic

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The original section of the High Line was a rare treat for city-dwellers with a slice of urban green space unlike anything seen before. When the second section of the High Line opened two years ago, visitors were treated to a woodland-like pathway, intimate sitting areas and even a field of wildflowers. Many architectural elements in this final section are a fitting continuation of the rest of the High Line, replete with the assortment of peel-up benches and planters, which appear as though they sprouted out of the pavement. You’ll even find peel-up picnic tables and peel-up workspaces.

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a #Hyperlapse tour of the High Line at the Yards in 15 seconds!

With the opening of this final section, The High Line project is at the end of a long road. After 15 years of campaigning, proposals, plans and construction, the park is finally complete, proudly stretching 1.45 miles long from Gansevoort Street all the way to 34th Street. The $90 million addition was mainly contributed by benevolent donors, revealing the passion and drive behind the project. With so little green space left on the ground in the Big Apple, it is only fitting that we ‘rise above’ the pavement to create a park in the sky. You can visit the new High Line at the Rail Yards and see all of the incredible design for yourself above 30th street and 10th avenue.

The High Line (coverage on Inhabitat)

6 High Line Copycats Around the World >

Interview with designer James Corner the High Line >

Section 2 of the High Line Opens >

+ James Corner Field Operations
+ Diller Scofidio & Renfro
+ Friends of the High Line

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