As famous as NYC’s High Line is, many people are unfamiliar with its history and the many purposes it has had throughout the years.

It all started in 1847, when NYC authorized street-level railroad tracks. The growing number of accidents by the tracks gave way to the name “Death Avenue”. In the 1950s, railroad traffic slowed, and by the 60s, the southernmost section of the line was demolished due to low use. A small section of the High Line was taken down in 1991. As the line laid unused (despite the fact that the structure was sound) it only became known to a few urban explorers and locals as a shrub garden that had grown along the abandoned railway. It was soon later decided to be demolished. However, a non-profit organization, Friends of the High Line, advocated for the line’s preservation and reuse as a public open space. Their idea was that it would become an elevated park or greenway. The first phase opened in 2009, and later phases in 2011 and 2014. It had a beneficial impact in the community with more than 30 development projects including housing, retail, and office spaces planned in 2009. Currently, the High Line is known to bring many urban tourist from around the world.

It just goes to show you that sometimes things just need to be looked at in a different perspective to be appreciated once again.

Michelle is an associate designer who specializes in 3D modeling and CGI renderings. She was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan but has fallen in love with the lifestyle, weather, and beaches of LA. Urban + environmental design and architecture in this city is her everyday inspiration. Also, she LOVES animals.

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