It's an old abandoned elevated subway line on the West side of Lower Manhattan. So many accidents occur between freight trains and street-level traffic that 10th Avenue becomes known as Death Avenue. For safety, men on horses, called the West Side Cowboys, ride in front of trains waving red flags.
The High Line opened to trains in 1934. It runs from 34th Street to St. John’s Park Terminal, at Spring Street. It was designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, to avoid creating the negative conditions associated with elevated subways. It connected directly to factories and warehouses, allowing trains to roll right inside buildings. Milk, meat, produce, and raw and manufactured goods came and went without causing street-level traffic. But in the 1950's growth of interstate trucking leads to a drop in rail traffic, both nationally and on the High Line.
The rails carried their last train in 1980 with three cars of frozen turkeys.
In 1999, Friends of the High Line is founded by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, residents of the High Line neighborhood, to advocate for the High Line's preservation and reuse as public open space.
In 2009, the first 1/3 of the space is open, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street opens to the public.
In 2010, the second part is projected to be open, from 20th Street to 30th Street.
This picture was my fave, I have not been there yet, but I found this online:
|taken by Martin Palmer|