Figuring out how to reuse the abandoned railway moved fast. Friends of the High Line held an open, international "search for ideas" in Jan. 2003. They were put on public display at Grand Central Terminal, and, with the City and community leaders on board, the ideas were narrowed down to those from 52 teams, and then to four teams who presented designs. In Oct. 2004 James Corner Field Operations, with a collaborative team that included architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and planting designer Piet Oudolf, was chosen.
In the beginning ... I thought it would make sense for an architect to be a lead, but this is truly a landscape project.… When I talked to architects about their concept it was all additives, about adding things to the High Line. Landscape architects are better at dealing with existing conditions. The existing condition was so important to us and had such a deep connection with the history and what people fell in love with, and James Corner recognized that.
Design Slideshow. (Click on individual slides for explanation.)