Summer on the High Line
Summer has arrived in New York City, bringing plenty of sunshine and a welcome opportunity for some much-needed leisure. Summer is also the best season of the year for exploring, or simply rekindling an appreciation for, the city’s cultural institutions, parks, restaurants, and the sights and sounds that make New York the greatest city on Earth. Residents of the 555TEN luxury rentals are just a few blocks away from one of New York City’s most famed and beloved destinations — the High Line. A walk through this 1.45-mile-long elevated park, which stretches from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street along the West Side of Manhattan, promises scenic viewing spots, newly commissioned art installations, and glimpses of New York’s history.
Groundbreaking on the High Line started in 2006, but its first visitors were welcomed in 2009. The park continued to expand farther north, with the Rail Yards section, which runs between West 30th to 34th Streets, completed for visitors in 2014. But the High Line’s origin story stretches back to the 19th century — when freight trains still operated at street level, causing perilous conditions for pedestrians. Years of improvement projects aimed at making the area safer led to the construction of an elevated rail line. The “West Side Elevated Line,” as it was originally known, debuted in the 1930s and carried goods to factories like Nabisco’s, better known today as the building that houses the ever-popular Chelsea Market.
With the advent of trucking, the High Line fell into disuse, and by the 1980s, it was headed for demolition. In fact, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani even signed a demolition order in 1999. Enter the Friends of the High Line. Inspired by the natural beauty of the secret garden of wild plants that had sprung up there, the group was founded to advocate for the repurposing of the space for public use. The organization commissioned a competition for ideas to reimagine the old rail line. With community support and planning, the High Line was born — and has since become one of the city’s most popular sites and an exemplar of landscape architecture the world over.
While proposals to extend the High Line north to Hudson River Park have already been announced, 555TEN residents can easily make the short stroll to the 34th Street entrance. From there, they can enjoy a walk through the Interim Walkway, which offers panoramic city and Hudson River views. At 30th Street, the Pershing Square Beams pay homage to the High Line’s industrial past with preserved steel beams and girders, which have been repurposed as a safe area for play and exploration. Also found at 30th Street is the Spur — an open-air space that houses the High Line Plinth, which is dedicated to large-scale public artworks. Currently on view is “Untitled (drone)” by Sam Durant — an abstract fiberglass sculpture in the form of a drone aircraft, which Durant fashioned to bring visibility to usually invisible drone warfare and surveillance.
Farther south on 26th Street is a dedicated viewing spot, as well as stretches of trees and other greenery along the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover. Still farther down, you’ll find the lush Chelsea Thicket between 21st and 22nd Streets. For a moment of rest during your visit, engage in a bit of people watching on the 23rd Street Lawn and Seating Steps or the 10th Avenue Square & Overlook. Cool off with the water feature and sundeck between 14th and 15th Streets, or, in the evening, pause at the partially enclosed 14th Street Passage, which offers a curated rotation of art videos and other programming.
Residents of 555TEN can make the most of the High Line all summer long. And why not? This treasured piece of New York history is right in their own backyard.