With work on the third and final section of The High Line Park set to begin next month, Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and the Friends of the High Line joined a group of students from Clinton Middle School in Chelsea to ceremoniously toss native wildflower seeds onto the northernmost tip of the old elevated railway. The next phase is moving forward with the help of many private investors who helped raise the $90 million needed to see the High Line to completion. As Speaker Quinn said, "The High Line is truly driven by the grassroots." GET IT?!
The final phase of the High Line "at Rail Yards," which will be completed and open to the public in early 2014, will continue north and west from the existing park up to 34th street along 11th Avenue. The park will feature much of the same innovative design elements which make the lower sections so successful, and more. The most striking difference with the third section is that it will be almost entirely integrated with a set of massive towers at the Hudson Yards project. Officials promise the Hudson Yards towers will bring new business and residential space to an "underused neighborhood" and completely change the face of Manhattan's West Side, creating what city employees lauded today as "a completely new neighborhood."
While construction will begin in late October, the High Line at Rail Yards will remain closed to the public until 2014, except for two weekends in October where the gates will be open for visitors to explore the site "au natural." These self-guided tours are put on by Open House New York and Friends of the High Line, with support from UNIQLO (there is talk of UNIQLO goodie bags). Reservations are required and can be made beginning Thursday, September 27th.