The High Line and the Standard Hotel, New York

The High Line Overgrown, New York

I have very little time this morning to get this post up, so please excuse my brevity and bad grammar. This is the High Line (seen above), a multi-mile strip of elevated railroad track running straight through some of Manhattan’s hottest neighborhoods. It was originally used as a means to transport goods out of factories and the Meat Packing District, but for a long time now it has been sitting idle and growing weeds. Few people ever took notice for a long time, until the real estate market in the area skyrocketed. Then, developers looked at this land as the ultimate opportunity to tear down the High Line and build condos like crazy.

The High Line Overgrown, New York

At the same time the developers were licking their chops, along comes a group of very influential neighbors (called Friends of the High Line) who have been in love with the High Line and would do everything to keep it. They, in fact wanted to go further and rehabilitate it. So now, one competition and several thousand hours of community input later, and we have what looks to be the High Line beginning to transform under the design of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (see rendering below).
Proposed Design for portion of High Line, New York

I was over at the High Line a couple of weeks ago, and change is apparent. There are several potions of the track that are sporting new paint jobs. There are also a number of new construction stairs up to the High Line. Outside of this, nothing was apparent from the street. What was apparent was developers embracing the High Line as a civic amenity unlike any in the country. The first development to respond with a bold statement has been the Standard Hotel designed by Polshek Partnership. The day I walked by, all I could see was this curving concrete wall on one side of the HL tracks and a massive truss bridging the High Line.
The Standard Hotel Crossing over the High Line, New York

I looked into the project more and dug up this rendering of the Standard Hotel. I will reserve judgment of the design for now, but the project looks pretty nice to me, so far. Also, judging by the Standard Hotel’s other properties across the country, this will be opulent, fun, dramatic, and everything else you would want in a rich person’s hotel. I’m not rich, so I will never stay here, but I’m looking forward to having a drink while I look over the green fields of the High Line.

The Standard Hotel Crossing over the High Line, New York

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