Citizens of New York City have a new park to enjoy. It is located along the western fringe of the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, between Gansevoort and 30th street. So why is this special enough for me to write about it? Well, the park is elevated roughly two stories above ground. It is actually built on top of the remnants of an abandoned stretch of elevated railways.
It all started in 1999 when two locals – Joshua David, a writer, and Robert Hammond, a painter – feared the old railway would end up in the hands of developers, whom would ruin the railway completely. They asked the city to instead turn the surface into a park. After years of delays, uncertainties and other complications the park finally opened in the summer of 2009. A second addition to the park opened in 2010, and a third part of the park is yet to be developed, but the plans are in motion. The first two sections have cost $152 million to complete.
The park is designed by landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations, along with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and landscaper Piet Oudolf. According to Matthew Johnson, the architect at DS+R who managed the project, the hardest part was to figure out the balance between concrete and landscape, “Basically, the balance between people and plants,” he says. “At some portion the landscape takes over. At other, like downtown entrance, it recedes to make way for public space.”
You can really see how you are two stories above the ground when you go to the edge and see cars drive by below:
A sunken observation deck allow you to look at out on the street below:
Even the water fountains are designed in this park. As you can see they don’t have a drain up top like you are used to seeing, instead the water runs through the fountain and down the side to a drain in the ground:
These lounges are mounted on to the actual rail and allows you to slide a few inches to either side, letting you sit closer or further away from whomever is next to you:
I have never been to this park personally because I never knew of its existence until recently, but I think I will have to go see it the next time I am in NYC.
Have you ever been there, or do you know anyone that has? I am looking for any opinions on this park, so even if you don’t know anything about it what do you think from looking at the pictures?