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Section Two of New York's High Line park opens today and GOOD has a first look at the expansion of the converted rail line.
Up until now, the High Line had only released artists' renderings of some of the highlights. Have a look at those first if you want to compare the original vision to the final product—both are impressive. This section more than doubles the length of the promenade, which now stretches from 14th Street to 30th Street.
It looks pretty amazing, succeeding just as the first section did in preserving the best of the High Line's many incarnations, while creating something totally new. Even more than the first section, this one honors the original rugged pride of the industrial past with exposed tracks and echoes of the days when New York got its frozen turkeys by rail, and sent out oreos to the world in boxcars. A few spots also retain the unkempt defiance of the unplanned greenway that sprouted up top after decades of neglect let trees and wildflowers take over.
Above is the Wildflower Field, looking North toward West 29th Street, where the High Line begins a long, gentle curve toward the Hudson River. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
23rd Street Lawn and Seating Steps are sure to become a regular gathering point. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
23rd Street Lawn. The northern end of this 4,900-square-foot lawn "peels up" over West 23rd Street, offering views of Brooklyn and New Jersey. Check how the faded Cost and Revs graffiti is older than the windows on the building, which still bares the branding of the old Meatpacking warehouse it used to be. Seeing overlapping layers of historic urban grit up close is one of the sweetest treats of the High Line. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Radial Bench. A long wooden bench curves with the pathway for an entire city block, between West 28th and West 29th Streets, as the High Line begins the transition into the Hudson Rail Yards. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Falcone Flyover. Adjacent buildings between West 25th and West 26th Streets create a microclimate that once cultivated a dense grove of tall shrubs and trees. Now, a metal walkway rises eight feet above the High Line, allowing groundcover plants to blanket the undulating terrain below, and carrying visitors upward into a canopy of sumac and magnolia trees. This is the aerial evening view at West 26th Street, looking South. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
30th Street Cut-Out and Viewing Platform is a platform above 30th Street where the concrete decking has been removed to expose the steel grid work and street below, looking east. ©Friends of the High Line, 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 designed to recall the billboards that were once attached to the High Line. ©Barry Munger, 2011
As a bonus to perambulating New Yorkers who make it to the end of Section Two, a vacant lot at 30th Street has been converted into a food truck market with activities geared toward families. Rainbow City, presented by AOL, is an environmental and interactive art installation by FriendsWithYou, on view through July at The Lot, as the temporary public plaza below the High Line is being called. ©Friends of the High Line, 2011
According to AOL, Rainbow City will create an urban playground that invites visitors to walk in and around the inflatable sculptures and will host a series of free educational programs geared toward children’s creativity.