High Line-style park proposed for a half-mile stretch of abandoned Staten Island rail

February 23, 2017

Although High Line Park visionary Robert Hammond recently expressed remorse for failing to develop a park that was “for the neighborhood”—not the ultra-wealthy that have infiltrated the blocks directly surrounding the elevated marvel—other cities continue to see nothing but financial opportunity in thrusting parkland upward. 6sqft recently reported on Newark, NJ, which will soon break ground on their own version of the High Line in hopes of revitalizing their long-burdened downtown, and now the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) has announced that Port Richmond is angling for their own High Line magic atop .53 miles of abandoned North Shore rail line.

According to SILive, the SIEDC announced today a design competition “to transform the unused rail right-of-way.” As it stands, the stretch is said to be home to some of the boroughs worst illegal dumping with trash piling up on both sides. Moreover, the elevated rail also runs alongside a number of homes and industrial sites as it winds from Richmond Terrace at Heberton Avenue in the east to Nicholas Avenue in the west. As such, Salvatore Calcagno Jr., the SIEDC ambassador for the project, believes that redevelopment will bring nothing but positive change to the area.

“Based on the success of the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan, we believe that activating the dormant line in a similar fashion can be a transformative project for the area. We hope this leads to an active public space along the line,” said Calcagno. “If our high line is half as successful as Manhattan’s, it will be a major boon to the community,” he added.

Preliminary estimates have pinned a price of $30 million to the project, with a chunk of that paid for with Federal dollars. Calcagno acknowledges that the park could take several years complete, or maybe even as long as Manhattan’s High Line, which took about 15 years. The SIEDC have also consulted Friends of the High Line to develop a plan of attack, and this is when the idea for a design competition arose.

Per SILive, the competition is open to all in the fields of planning, architecture, and engineering, and they are even encouraging local residents to participate. Proposals are asked to address the following:

  • A point-of-view image of walking on the High Line (hand-drawn artwork — colored pencils/markers — or computer aided design);
  • An electronic and mounted version of the image on styrofoam or cardboard (30 inches high by 48 inches long);
  • A proposed name and logo for the project.

(Materials should be sent to Steven Grillo, SIEDC’s first vice president, at [email protected] and a mounted version delivered to SIEDC’s office at 900 South Avenue, Suite 402, no later than Friday, April 7.)

The SIEDC plans on showcasing the point-of-view images at the 8th annual Business Conference on April 27 in the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. The public will also vote on the designs and a winner will be announced at the SI Green Expo on June 8.

[Via SILive]


All images via SIEDC via SILive

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