All photos © Jonathan Flaum. Photo above: High Line Color 1. June 2005.
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Photographer Jonathan Flaum started going up on the abandoned High line in the ’80s, when it was full of overgrown wildlife, to see some of his friends’ graffiti work and find a quiet escape from the city. In the late ’90s, he heard about plans to demolish the former elevated train tracks and decided to start photographing the structure. Soon thereafter, Joshua David and Robert Hammond started Friends of the High Line, then a small, grassroots organization advocating for its preservation and adaptive reuse into a park. When they built their website, they incorporated Jonathan’s photos to provide a behind-the-scenes look for those who weren’t as adventurous to venture up there.
The park’s first phase officially opened in 2009 and to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Jonathan has shared with us his collection of photos. Ahead, hear from him on his experiences with the High Line and see how far this NYC icon has come.
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Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the High Line.
The High Line’s newest section, the Spur, opened to the public last week following a ribbon-cutting celebration on Tuesday. Elected officials, artists, advocates, supporters, community members, and architects involved in the project were on hand for a speaking program that welcomed visitors to the new space. The Spur–the last section of the original elevated rail to be converted into public space–extends east along West 30th Street and ends above 10th Avenue; it’s also home to the High Line Plinth, the first site on the High Line dedicated to a rotating series of contemporary art commissions. Simone Leigh’s “Brick House” is the first Plinth commission.
Photos and more, this way
© 2019 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photography by Christopher Stach.
This past fall, the Kasmin Gallery opened a 5,000-square-foot space + rooftop sculpture garden next to Zaha Hadid’s futuristic condo 520 West 28th Street. And to kick off the summer season, the High Line-adjacent space has just announced a new sculpture garden show–a trio of works from Robert Indiana’s famous “Love” series. The pieces showcase the word in English (Love), Spanish (Amor), and Hebrew (Ahava), which, according to a press release “represent three of New York’s most historic and influential dialects, celebrating immigration and lingual diversity in one of the most visited public art spaces in the city.”
Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York.
The Spur, the last section of the High Line, extending east along 30th Street and ending above 10th Avenue, is scheduled to open in 2019. Unlike other sections of the park which are more linear and perfect for strolling, this section will feature a large-scale plaza for public programming and art and areas for seating and gathering. Anchoring the new section will be the High Line Plinth. As Designboom reports, the Plinth will be one of the only sites in New York City with the purpose of featuring a rotating series of new contemporary public art commissions.
Renderings of the Plinth, this way
Back in May 6sqft reported on plans for the 15 new gallery spaces in the works next to the Zaha Hadid-designed condo at 520 West 28th Street along the High Line, with the Paul Kasmin Gallery to anchor the project, which will expand into a 5,000-square-foot space with a sculpture garden designed by Future Green on its roof. With the official opening of the new building and inaugural exhibitions of works by Walton Ford and Joel Shapiro come new photos of the gallery and of the sculpture garden being installed.
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Photo byLiz Ligon via Mile Long Opera.
For five consecutive nights from October 3-7, 2018 “The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock,” will bring together 1,000 singers from across New York for free performances on the High Line. The project is a collaboration between architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, with words and lyrics by acclaimed poets Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine. The free collective choral work shares personal stories, gathered through first-hand interviews with hundreds of New Yorkers about city life.
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Photo by Luke Hayes
On Thursday, Friends of the High Line are hosting their “first-ever High Line Hat Party, a raucous, downtown party for the creative and bold.” What better to don for this party than a swooping, sinuous lined hat inspired by one of the most prominent High Line building’s iconic curves?
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) director Patrik Schumacher designed the gorgeous, 3D printed, 520 West 28th-inspired hat for the party’s fashion show (h/t dezeen). Just as the building’s beautiful swirls of glass are intersected with dark steel bands, this hat replicates that aesthetic.
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Rendering via Future Green
Related Companies announced last year plans to add 15 new gallery spaces around their Zaha Hadid-designed condo at 520 West 28th Street. One of the galleries tapped for the project, the Paul Kasmin Gallery, will serve as the anchor tenant and expand into a 5,000-square-foot space. In addition to boasting 22-foot ceilings and 28 skylights, the single-floor gallery will have a sculpture garden designed by Future Green on its roof. Because it sits alongside the High Line, “the garden serves as a verdant extension to the elevated park and showcases outdoor artworks in a rich seasonal tapestry,” according to the landscape architects.
More details here
Crane with wrecking ball mounted on the trestle. Photo by Peter H. Fritsch (1962). Photo courtesy of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation/Fritsch Family Collection.
Few structures have had a more far-reaching impact upon the West Village and Chelsea than the High Line. Its construction in 1934, then partial demolition in the early ’60s, and final preservation and conversion into a park a decade ago have profoundly shaped the way these neighborhoods have changed over the last 85 years. And while photos of its heyday and those of it today as an internationally recognized public space are plenty, few exist of those interim years. But GVSHP recently acquired some wonderful images of the High Line being demolished in 1962 at Perry Street, donated by the Fritsch Family who lived nearby at 141 Perry Street.
The Fritschs’ photos say a lot about how the High Line, and its demolition, changed the West Village. It’s apparent from the images just how much more industrial, and gritty the Far West Village was in those days. But it also shows how the demolition of the High Line left a huge gap in this unpretentious neighborhood, which housed both disappearing industry and a diverse and vital residential community.
See the other photos and learn the whole history
Art Nerd New York founder Lori Zimmer shares her top art, design and architecture event picks for 6sqft readers!
Times Square is offering up some pretty cool art experiences this week including a late-night 3D movie and vintage telephone booths that have been repurposed to play stories from immigrants to our great city. The High Line is holding a live chess tournament where pieces are swapped out for visitors, and Chesterfield Gallery hosts a group of artists who have swapped paint for textiles. Photographs celebrating the “limitless beauty of blackness” opens at Brilliant Champions, and artist Andrea Fraser gives a free lunchtime talk at SVA. If you’re out in the Hamptons, take some art with your beach time at Market Art + Design, and finally, rumor has it that the Kosciuszko Bridge will finally be imploded.
Details on these events and more this way