High Line Stage 2 Opens

Highline Stage 2 from West 30th Street, looking South ©Iwan Baan 2011

The Stage 2 section of the Highline designed by James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Piet Oudolf, and Buro Happold has opened to the public. The opening of the new section doubles the length of the public park. After years of planning, design and construction, the High Line is now one mile long, running from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street, connecting the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen.

For a full web gallery and summary of each area

Stage 2 includes Chelsea Thicket, 23rd Street Lawn and Seating Steps, Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover, 26th Street Viewing Spur, Wildflower Field, Radial Bench, 30th Street Cut-Out.

New access points are located at West 23rd Street, West 26th Street, West 28th Street, and West 30th Street, supplementing the five existing access points at Gansevoort Street, West 14th Street, West 16th Street, and West 18th Street, and West 20th Street. All access points will be open daily during the public park’s summer operating hours, from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The High Line is fully wheelchair-accessible, with a new elevator located at West 30th Street, and another located at West 23rd Street and scheduled to open by the end of June, supplementing two existing elevators at West 14th Street and West 16th Street.

June 8 is the first full day the park will be open, due to the popularity of Stage 1 there is expected to be crowds filling the space within hours of opening. If you are visiting the Highline & Friends of the Highline are advising to check the website for updates.

A meandering pathway passes by old and new architecture between West 24th & West 25th Sts. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
View from West 21st St, looking South toward the Hudson River. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
View looking West toward the Empire State Building. ©Iwan Baan, 2011

Chelsea Thicket
As visitors move north from the Chelsea Grasslands’ prairie-like landscape, a dense planting of floweringshrubs and small trees indicates the beginning of a new section of the park, between West 20th and West22nd Streets. In the Chelsea Thicket, species like winterberry, redbud, and large American hollies provideyear-round textural and color variation. An under-planting of low grasses, sedges, and shade-tolerantperennials further emphasizes the transition from grassland to thicket.

Chelsea Thicket, between West 20th & West 22nd Sts. ©Iwan Baan, 2011

23rd Street Lawn and Seating Steps
The High Line opens to a wider area between West 22nd and West 23rd Streets, where an extra pair of railtracks once served the loading docks of adjacent warehouses. The extra width in this area was used tocreate a gathering space, with Seating Steps made of reclaimed teak anchoring the southern end of a4,900-square-foot lawn. At its northern end, the Lawn “peels up,” lifting visitors several feet into the airand offering views of Brooklyn to the east, and the Hudson River and New Jersey to the west.

23rd Street Lawn and Seating Steps ©Iwan Baan, 2011
23rd Street Lawn ©Iwan Baan, 2011

Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover
Between West 25th and West 26th Streets, adjacent buildings create a microclimate that once cultivated adense grove of tall shrubs and trees. Now, a metal walkway rises eight feet above the High Line, allowinggroundcover plants to blanket the undulating terrain below, and carrying visitors upward, into a canopyof sumac and magnolia trees. At various points, overlooks branch off the walkway, creating opportunitiesto pause and enjoy views of the plantings below and the city beyond.

Falcone Flyover, an elevated pathway between West 25th & West 27th Sts. ©Iwan Baan, 2011 ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Falcone Flyover, the pathway rises eight feet above the High Line ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Falcone Flyover, looking South at West 25th St. ©Iwan Baan, 2011

26th Street Viewing Spur
Hovering above the historic rail on the east side of the High Line at West 26th Street, the Viewing Spur’s frame is meant to recall the billboards that were once attached to the High Line. Now the frame enhances, rather than blocks, views of the city. Tall shrubs and trees flank the Viewing Spur’s frame, while a platform with wood benches invites visitors to sit and enjoy views of 10th Avenue and Chelsea.

26th Street Viewing Spur looking East. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
26th Street Viewing Spur, a frame now enhances views of the city ©Barry Munger, 2011

Wildflower Field
Between West 26th and West 29th Streets, the landscape of the Wildflower Field is dominated by hardy,drought-resistance grasses and wildflowers, and features a mix of species that ensures variation inblooms throughout the growing season. The simplicity of the straight walkway, running alongside thewildflowers interspersed between the original railroad tracks, allows visitors to appreciate the green axisof the High Line, as it moves through the city.

Wildflower Field, West 27th & West 29th Sts. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Wildflower Field, looking West at 28th Street. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Wildflower Field, the High Line begins a gentle curve toward the Hudson River. ©Iwan Baan 2011

Radial Bench
At West 29th Street, the High Line begins a long, gentle curve toward the Hudson River, signifying atransition to the West Side Rail Yards. The High Line’s pathway echoes the curve, and a long bank ofwooden benches sweep westward along the edge of the pathway. Planting beds behinds and in front ofthe benches line the curve with greenery.

Radial Bench, a long wooden bench curves for an entire city block ©Iwan Baan, 2011

30th Street Cut-Out
Near the northern terminus of Section 2, the pathway curves west toward the Hudson River, and slowly rises above an area where the concrete decking has been removed, showcasing the strength of the High Line’s steel frame. The pathway leads to a viewing platform that hovers above the Cut-Out, allowing visitors to peer down through the grating and grid of steel beams and girders to the traffic passing below on West 30th Street.

30th Street Cut-Out and Viewing Platform ©Friends of the High Line, 2011

Rainbow City, art installation by Friends With You
The installation will be located at the lot on 30th street in the Chelsea art district. “Rainbow City” will feature an exclusive pop-up shop where limited edition products designed for AOL will be available. A summer long activity zone with food and beverage will also be featured located adjacent to the installation site. Kicking off this June, please stay tuned for exact dates and more information

Rainbow City, art installation by Friends With You, on view from June to early July ©Friends of the High Line, 2011

About Damian Holmes 3232 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/