Canadian Consulting Engineer

New York City turns a defunct railway viaduct into a park

An elevated railway in Manhattan, New York, is being converted into a public park.

May 9, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

An elevated railway in Manhattan, New York, is being converted into a public park.
The elevated railway is a 1930s viaduct stretching for one and a half miles. It was abandoned in 1980, but a non-profit group, “Friends of the High Line,” has been working to protect the structure as an open space. Rehabilitating the space into parkland will cost $40 million.
An international competition was held last year among architects to come up with ideas for landscaping the space. The winning designers, Field Operations and Dialer Scofidio + Renfro, plan to lay a framework of “Agri-tecture,” using meandering concrete paths, eight to 15 feet wide, laid out among natural green plantings and niches.
Various points of access will allow people to climb up from the street, including entrances from busy intersections and “slow stairs.” Work is to begin construction this fall.


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