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If you have tickets to see Carol Bove’s installation on the last and final section of the High Line, be sure to also look for some easily missed bits of history on the train tracks themselves. According to our tour guide from Friends of the High Line, the raised numbers tell the date when the tracks were installed. They served more as reminders to replace the tracks, than as a testament to their historical origins. An Untapped reader has also informed us that “The numbers are raised, not etched or punched, so that would be the date the rails were rolled at the steel mill.”

Our guide said the earliest date he’s found is 1913. We found dates ranging from 1918 to 1925. A portion of the trackbed has already been removed for the first stages of remediation and conversion to The High Line Park.

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If you missed getting tickets for Carol Bove, here are more photos of her installation. The works, dotted throughout this last section of the High Line are subtle plays on the found industrial materials. Through the configuration, shape or placement of the artwork, the viewer is asked to consider the line between art and industry.

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Tickets are unfortunately sold out for access to the Carol Bove exhibit (which runs through September 28). More info on High Line tours here. See more photos of the High Line Section Three in its earlier, wilder form.

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.

2 Comments

  1. Walter says:

    In addition to the year of manufacture, there are also lines corresponding to the month of manufacture, from 1 to 12. Older rails can use roman numerals for the month, depending on the company. The weight and steel manufacturer is also listed on the rail, and each of these are still on rails constructed today.

  2. Rachel Alban says:

    I’ll be going on the Art Walk this weekend. Can’t wait!

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