Ingenieur Vol. 74 Ingenieur Vol 72, April-June 2018 - Page 55

railroad tracks. By 1851, street level railroad traffic had caused so many accidents that the West Side’s freight corridor became known as “Death Avenue”. The New York Central Railroad hired men on horseback, called the West Side Cowboys, to ride in front of trains, waving pedestrians out of the way. The high line was built by the New York Railroad between 1929 and 1934 to eliminate street level train crossing from 34 th Street to Spring Street and to improve both efficiency and public safety. For years the High Line served as an integral part of Manhattan’s industrial landscape – the “life line of New York”. The elevated railway allowed for efficient deliveries of meat, produce, and diary products into the warehouses and factories up and down the West side. However, with the decline of manufacturing in Manhattan, train traffic in the 1950s and 1960s began to decrease on the High Line, and the elevated railway fell into a state of disuse. In 1999, CSX Transportation, the national rail freight carrier and then-owner of the High Line, commissioned a planning study to assess the reuse of the 1.45 mile elevated railway. The study was presented at a Community Board meeting in West Chelsea, inspiring two neighbourhood residents, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, to create Friends of the High Line, an organisation to advocate for the adaptive use of the High Line. In 2005, following years of collaboration with the City of New York and ‘Friends of the High Line’, CSX donated the High Line (or High Line Park) to the City of New York, paving the way for it to be opened to the public. Led by the  landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations, who drew inspiration from multiple disciplines including landscape architecture,  urban design, and ecology, the abandoned spur was redesigned as a "living system". Since its opening in 2009, the High Line has become an icon of contemporary landscape architecture. The park's attractions include naturalised plants, inspired by plants which grew on the disused tracks,  and views of the city and the  Hudson River. The  pebble-dash  concrete walkways swell and constrict, swing from side to side, and divide into concrete spines which meld into the  hardscape  with plants embedded in railroad-gravel mulch. "By opening the paving, we Mid-section of the High Line with vertical access from the street. The space below the High Line is being used as a car park and for other commercial uses. View of the old High Line showing the moving train as displayed on the High Line walkway information board. The High Line winding its way through the city’s centre amidst apartment buildings. Northern end of the High Line revealing traces of rail lines. 53