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Designing the High Line

Stretching along the West Side of Manhattan--from Greenwich Village to the Javits Center--is an abandoned elevated rail trestle known as the High Line. Created in the 1930's to carry freight, it soon became obsolete and was out of use by the early 1980's.

Friends of the High Line is a non-profit organization that would like to see the rail trestle reused as a park, a vision that is shared by many within the city government and the local community. Negotiations to convert the High Line into an elevated public walkway have begun, and recently, the City Council announced a $15.75 million funding commitment for planning and construction of a converted High Line.

But this is not a done deal. The Friends still face a variety of logistical, legal and financial challenges, as well as opposition from the Chelsea Property Owners, who would like the structure to be torn down. Regardless, the Friends felt confident enough about the future of the High Line to launch a design competition for the reuse of the rail structure. Over 700 people submitted ideas, many of which the public got to view in July at an exhibit at Grand Central Station, "Designing the High Line."

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