Monday, September 20, 2010

High Line Park - New York City

I recently visited a park in New York City called The High Line. It was, by far, one of the coolest places I've visited in a long time. The park is built on a section of the former elevated freight railroad along Manhattan's West Side.

The High Line was originally constructed in the 1930s to lift freight trains off Manhattan's streets.  From 1934-1980 trains carried meat to the meatpacking district, agricultural goods to the factories and warehouses of the industrial West Side and mail to the Post Office. (

In 2006, construction began on the old railway to create a unique park. It was redesigned, incorporating some of the original tracks into the design and planted with naturalistic plantings as an elevated park running through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell's Kitchen.

Since it was late August when I visited, there were many different types of grasses growing, in addition to Ecinachea, Rubeckia and Asters. All the plants are allowed to grow freely, to simulate natural plants growing around abandoned train tracks.


I loved how the old train track elements were worked into the design like under the benches (above, left) and peeking out among the hardscape and plantings (above, right).

Here is another image with the tracks and plants nestled together:

And another of the late summer plants growing along the park:

The Section 1 of the park begins here at Gansevoort Street and continues to 20th Street. Section 2 is due to open in 2011 and will continue to 34th Street.

If you happen to be visiting New York City, I highly recommend the High Line. Its an easy walk and every season offers something beautiful and unique to see both in the park and in the bustling streets below. 


  1. Hey, Kate! This garden is so unique! I would love to see it in person. What a great idea for a park in the city!!!

  2. I like the idea of an "elevated" garden. This is an interesting use of old city infrastructure. I wonder what the local residents think. If I worked in the area it would be the place I'd head on my lunch hour.

  3. Dear Kate, I have read before about this garden and think that it is indeed an inspired idea for the inner city. As you say, it is so cleverly conceived and integrating elements from the old days of the railway is a touch of genius. What could so easily have become an eyesore is now an area of beauty to be enjoyed. I should indeed wish to see it if I ever get to NY!

  4. Dear Kate, Like Edith I have read about this garden so thank you so much for showing it to us in more detail and giving more of its background. It looks amazing and I wish I could find the funds to come to NY to see it.

  5. Hi Kate, I too have seen some photos and read about this garden ... I hope to see one day soon. Thanks for your perspective on it! No one I have seen has showcased it quite like you have. So glad to have found your blog! ;>) Carol

  6. What great park. I love seeing parks like that and all the plantings right in the city. I wish there were more similar to that one in Seattle. It's nice to see so much green and flowers in the middle of a city.

  7. Hi Kate, I've just come back from New York and visited the High Line whilst I was there. It was really beautiful, came away completely inspired with how amazing a public space can be. Want to go back next year when new section opens and maybe see it during the height of the summer to see how different the planting looks.

  8. Hi Kate, I love your photos! I also recently visited the High Line for the first time. I have some photos on my blog, Garden by the Sound. Thanks for visiting by the way, and thanks for your nice comments. Look forward to seeing more of your Long Island blog!

  9. I visited this garden last year and it is amazing. And well used. Do you think there is a prize for the biggest container garden in the world?


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