Section 2 of the High Line may be opening soon, but we went to check out controversial Section 3, along Hudson Yards. This section isn’t owned by the city yet–which means it could still be demolished–but in July 2010 it passed the ULURP review process. This means the city can now proceed with the option of purchasing and hopefully developing this final section of the High Line. ULURP stands for Uniform Land Use Review Procedure and is one of the major tools of urban planning and community participation in New York City. Not everything has to go through ULURP but acquisition of land by the city does. [Update: New plans for the section 3 of the High Line unveiled March 2012]

In the concrete jungle that is New York, it’s surprising to see nature in its chaotic, uncontrolled form. Of course, James Corner and the other landscape architects worked in the natural flora with  their design for the completed portions of the High Line. But here in Section 3, there’s still a true sense of discovery embedded: the unexpected nature of the path as we climbed around massive bushes and wooden planks, the one small evergreen tree flourishing in the midst, the palpable layering of nature over the man-made, and the undeniable importance of the railroad woven into the story of New York. Maybe it was  the nature of being in a little-explored space, but  with the backdrop of Hudson Yards, we felt inserted into the trajectories of history.  I’ll let the photographs tell the rest.

The end of the line where the tracks disappear:

A glimpse through the brush:

Support the High Line.  Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.

20 thoughts on “Section 3: The End of the (High) Line

  1. What lovely photos, Michelle, and what an adorable stroll along the unveiled Highline that must have been. Fascinating. Goodness, how I love this city!

  2. Michelle, nice work. The High Line dates to the late 1920’s. The rails and fish plates should have dates on them. There is a tease in one shot but the brush needs to be moved back. When the New York Central built it the section from 72nd to 125th was put underground. The tunnel and rails are still there. Above 125th it links up with what the Central called the Water Level Route. I think the High Line saw its last traffic in the mid to late ’60’s around the time of the misbegotten merger with the Pennsy.

    1. Thanks for th history! I just read the history of the Vanderbilts and their role in the development of rail. Fascinating how it once drove our country!

      1. Michelle, I really like your pictures, I find this kind of thing fascinating.

        It is really amazing how rail once drove our country, and it’s a tragedy what’s become of it.

        1. Thanks Jeff! I agree–you should read a book called Fortune’s Children about the Vanderbilt family, written by one of the descendants. At one point, getting into rail was the means of making your fortune–it was the next big technological advance!

  3. Great pictures! As a New Yorker I have always been interested in structures that say a lot about the history of New York City, including but not limited to abandoned subway stations. You took some pictures of the end of the High Line, but I’ve wondered for years where it connects to the main train line, especially since the line itself descends below the street. Did you by any chance see the connection?

    1. Hi Ryan! Thanks for the comments! Do you mean where it connects within Hudson Yards? At this point it doesn’t seem to connect anymore. The track descends below the street (across from Javits Center on the street side) and then ends. Its possible at some point it went through what is now the parking and truck lot, Let me know if that makes sense!

    1. Thanks Mary-Jane!! Hope you are well in Santa Fe! Let me know if you ever come to NYC!

  4. Excellent photos. When was this segment of the line abandoned? Are there any projects set for this section of the high line?

    1. Hi Albert–Related Companies is developing Hudson Yards. I don’t believe there is anything specific planned for the High Line here, which is why Friends of the High Line and others were concerned. Fortunately, it passed ULURP and I’m sure Bloomberg will want to have it preserved.

Comments are closed.