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May 17, 2009

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Urban Sky Edens of the Future

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Reading through this month’s Communication Arts, I encountered an article on the High Line, an abandoned elevated rail platform in NYC. After the line went fallow in 1980, Nature reclaimed it. Trees, grasses and wildflowers overgrew the tracks, turning it into an urban wonder — a wild garden in the sky. Due to years of legal wrangling, the line somehow never got demolished. So a group of dreamers calling themselves Friends of the High Line assembled a coalition of influential hipster sympathizers to turn it into a park. Back in 2007, New York Magazine chronicled the rail line’s evolution from urban ruin to civic treasure. Kottke’s been blogging it since 2004, so I may be the last nerd-hipster to hear about it. If I’m not, photos of the thing abound, so do spend some time enjoying them.

Photo from Flickr user cdstar, licensed under Creative Commons. Feel free to make derivative works off this post, if you’d like.

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Posted May 17, 2009 at 2:04 | Comments (1) | Permasnark
File under: Beauty, Briefly Noted

Comments

I curse myself for not blogging about this when I was writing about it for school, back in 2003, but back then I was new to both and still trying not to blog about anything I thought I might publish--most of which, of course, I didn't find a home for. It's at the top of my things to go see when I finally go back to New York. When I was profiling the chief Architect of Manhattan, it was one of his pet projects, and he sold it very well. In general, though, I'm slightly wary of rails-to-trails programs: I wish we subsidize rail transport as much as we subsidize highways, and once those rails are gone, it will be hard to find those kinds of eminent domains again.

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