2. Many Have Tried to Destroy It in the Past, But Public Opposition Always Prevailed


With the advent of interstate trucking taking much of the transportation load off of the freight train business, traffic on the High Line ground to a halt. Over time, the rails became rusted and weeds grew out of control. The elevated railroad was simply a site popular to urban explorers (and would have most definitely made for an exciting abandoned site in the 80s). Around then, a group of landlords in the Chelsea area campaigned to have the entire railway, now a waste of space, demolished. A campaign to’ ‘Save the Tracks’ followed, led by Chelsea activist Peter Obletz, and was successful.


The park’s journey to renovation really began when it was officially slated for demolition after having been partially dismantled over the past decade by Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration. Friends of the High Line became involved, raised money, and a plan to renovate the space into a public park was born.

See more photos of the park’s abandoned third section before construction here.