High Line Park

INTERVIEW: Architect James Corner On NYC’s High Line Park

James Corner. The High Line urban park project in New York City opened last summer to tremendous excitement from locals and tourists alike looking to escape the bustling streets for a more peaceful, green enclave in the sky.
NYC’s High Line is a project that exemplifies effective adaptive urban re-use in a city that is littered with structures and spaces that have since reached the end of theiruseful life.
By turning an abandoned, elevated freight train track into a public park, this project has redefined the New York experience, affording never-before seen views of the city’s surrounding natural landscape as well as an expansive and intimate look into one of the world’s most dynamicurban environments.
With the completion of the rest of the High Line currently in the works, we couldn’t think of a better time to catch up with one of the brilliant minds behind the design of this beautiful public space.
I recently sat down with landscape designer James Corner, the lead designer behind the High Line, to get his personal perspective on the what it was like to take an abandoned train track and turn it into one of NYC’s best loved spots of greenery.
Read on for my exclusive interview with James Corner below…

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Jill: What originally attracted you to the High Line project?

James: The High Line had its own mythology long before we came along. In particular, the‘Friends of the High Line’ were instrumental in creating this distinct image around the High Line – they established an aura that projected an idea that this was in fact a post-industrial artifact maintaining a sense of melancholy and other-worldliness in a city context that, by contrast, was ever-evolving and modernizing.

But to take that detail and to actually instill and transform it into a public landscape where people can stroll, sit and enjoy amazing vistas across the city was too great an opportunity to pass up.

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