The chronological metamorphosis of an abandoned railroad into an urban park, and the two men behind the process.
When David and Hammond first began thinking about saving the High Line, an elevated rail structure on New York City’s West Side, they had no idea they were embarking on a 10-year journey. They just wanted to save this “tremendous sense of space” full of “waist-high Queen Anne’s lace” from being destroyed, to transform the abandoned rail bed into a “place where people would come to stroll just for the sake of strolling.” Split into two parts--one part interview, one part photographs--the narrative leads readers from the inception of the nonprofit group the Friends of the High Line to the ribbon-cutting ceremony a full decade later. The authors had to jump through substantial bureaucratic hoops in New York and Washington, D.C., to obtain legal control of the deserted rail bed. Along the way, David and Hammond give recognition to the numerous famous and not-so-famous people who contributed their efforts and money to the cause. To push the concept ever forward, they held an idea competition that drew 720 entries from around the world and a design competition that pit several top New York agencies against each other. Chronicles of the numerous fundraising events flesh out this recounting of two men and their improbable dream.
“Few people who come to the High Line know what it took to make it possible,” writes David. Thanks to this book, readers now know the tremendous energy and effort that went into turning what some saw as “a relic and an obstacle” into a viable park for all to enjoy.