HIGH LINE COMMUNITY PROPOSAL
The High Line is a distinctive part of New York's history and should be embraced by the urban fabric of the city. Completed in 1933, the High Line was intended to be a vital component of a modern, multilevel New York. New development should expand upon this historic identity and take advantage of its unique architectural possibilities.
We propose that the zoning laws be changed to permit the private property owners within 250 feet directly adjacent to the High Line the opportunity to build mixed-use structures with a maximum height of 400 feet. In exchange, these property owners would allow a minimum of 60 feet of rail easement above the tracks, with cultural and commercial space directly accessed from the High Line for public use and leisure.
In this proposal, we envision a community of mixed-use towers (public/private hybrids) to be built over the High Line. These towers, and the openings through which pedestrians will move, conceptually assimilate the historic passage and recall the movement of trains through buildings.
We have identified eight un-built lots and/or dilapidated buildings along the High Line between 17th and 30th streets. We propose to place eight towers on these lots, each with unique "footprints" adapting to the available lots of the specific block. These towers will have approximately 100 feet or 10 stories of cultural, commercial and public space at their base, where the High Line goes through, with residential units above.
Olympic Games, 2012
To facilitate this development, we propose an Olympic-size stadium to be built at the 30th street Rail Yards. The base of the stadium will offer two levels of retail space, the upper of which will be adjacent to and accessed from the High Line. This upper level will also provide a large public roof garden. Urbanistically, this development will mark one end of the High Line and bring vital activity to the High Line as a new, elevated pedestrian walkway.
The mixed-use towers between 17th and 30th streets will house the Olympic athletes and offer meeting halls, auditoriums, cafeterias, physical training and fitness centers, internet and media lounges, souvenir shops and spacious outdoor covered areas for athletes to interact.
We propose to terminate the south end of the High Line at the 17th street and introduce a new suspended pedestrian bridge-way at this juncture to go westward towards the Chelsea piers, ending at the water front park. The gateway to the Olympics will be built on this location, at pier 57, and will commemorate the Olympic games of 2012.
Following the Olympics, the High Line Community will be an essential part of 21st century New York, vertical and dense, interwoven into the existing urban fabric, "a city within a city." It will open to the public with variety of needed residential, cultural, sports, commercial and public spaces as a unified design.
Access to the High Line will be via open ramps, with secure gates, within each tower. In contrast to the "vertical" towers, the High Line will be paved with translucent panels, lit from beneath, with a continuous "horizontal" glow. This elevated passageway will take one on an exuberant journey through the neighborhood, through architecture of extruded public spaces reflecting the activities of the 21st century, or simply allow one to safely cross over above the streets, celebrating the spirit of New York in the new millennium.