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The High Line

Fact Sheet


The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure running from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on Manhattan’s West Side.  It was built in the 1930s to remove dangerous trains from Manhattan’s streets.  No trains have run on it since 1980. Friends of the High Line (FHL), a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. FHL’s mission is to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public open space.  FHL gained the City’s support in 2002. The High Line south of 30th Street was donated to the City by CSX Transportation Inc. in 2005. The team of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro is now at work on a design for the High Line’s public landscape. Construction began in spring 2006. The first section is projected to open in 2008. 

High Line Facts

  • Constructed 1929-1934
  • Spans 22 blocks, from 34th Street to Gansevoort Street
  • 1.45 miles long
  • 6.7 acres of space atop elevated rail deck 30-60 feet wide and 18-30 feet high
  • Built to support 2 fully loaded freight trains 
  • Primary construction materials: steel and reinforced concrete

Friends of The High Line

FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE (FHL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the High Line and maintaining it as a park. Once construction is complete, FHL will serve as a conservancy, raising funds and operating the park in a partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Co-Founders: Joshua David and Robert Hammond; Development Associate, Individual Giving: Sanaya Kaufman; Director of Operations: Rick Little; Media and Project Manager: Katie Lorah; Events Manager: Tara Morris; Director of Planning: Peter Mullan; Chief Development Officer: Matthew Shakespeare; Development Assistant: Michelle Sharkey; Office Assistant: Danya Sherman; Special Projects Manager: Meredith Taylor


Railbanking is a mechanism created by Congress in 1983 to preserve irreplaceable transportation corridors and allow them to be used as trails. Over 12,000 miles of rail-trails have been created nationwide.  In 2005, federal Surface Transportation Board granted a Certificate for Interim Trail Use, allowing the High Line’s preservation below 30th Street. CSX Transportation donated ownership of this section of the High Line to the City in late 2005. It still owns the northernmost section (30th-34th Street). Also in 2005, CSX and the City signed a Trail Use Agreement, permitting the use of the entire structure as a public open space.

Design for The High Line

 In fall 2004, FHL and the City of New York jointly selected a design team for the High Line. The team, led by Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an architecture firm, includes experts in the fields of horticulture, engineering, lighting, public art, cost estimating, maintenance planning, security, and other relevant disciplines. Selections from the team’s preliminary set of designs were displayed at the Museum of Modern Art from April to October 2005. Design for the first section of the High Line to be constructed, from Gansevoort to 20th Streets, is complete, and the design team is currently at work on Section 2 (20th to 30th Streets).


The total anticipated High Line project cost is $170 million.  The City of New York has committed $111.45 million, and the federal government has committed $22.1 million, for a total of $133.55 million in public funds.  The remaining $36.45 million in construction costs, as well as additional monies for maintenance and operation endowments, will be provided by FHL's private fundraising and developer contributions.

The High Line at the Rail Yards

FHL is currently working to secure the preservation of the High Line between 30th and 34th Streets at the West Side Rail Yards. At this location, one-third (1/3) of the structure might be fully preserved, altered, or removed, depending on a planning process involving the state Metropolitan Transit Authority and private developers. For updates on our rail yards work, Please visit our Rail Yards Blog:

Further Information

For further information and images, please contact:

Katie Lorah

[email protected]; (212) 206-9922

Friends of the High Line

430 West 14th Street, Suite 304

New York, NY 10014

Phone: (212) 206-9922; Fax: (212) 206-9118

E-mail: [email protected]; Website: