Running 1.46 miles through Manhattan’s West side, the High Line operated as a freight rail line from 1934 to 1980. Operating during the 1920‘s the original the rail line that snaked through this area of New York encountered so many traffic accidents along 10th Avenue it became known as Death Avenue. Hence in response, the High Line rail road was created.
The eventuating railroad was elevated above ground level and rather than traveling over buildings, it impaled right through. Aside from relieving the traffic hazards created by the original rail line, the other key point of reason behind the elevated rail road was to enhance the ease of delivery to warehouses and factories by literally taking delivery further than the doorstep.
During the 1950’s interstate trucking began to surpass freight trains as a means of transportation of goods, until finally in 1980 the last rain ran on the High Line. The eventuating history for this rail road becomes relevant to some the thinking behind deconstruction theory.
The primary advocates for the preservation of the rail road working within the group ‘Friends of the High Line’ spearheaded an initiative to create a public space from this historic landmark. Hence after years of planning, this railroad is in the process of becoming a 1.45 mile stretch of public park.
Through preservation of key aspects of the original rail road, the design for this park is a great contrast between the industrial and natural which is achieved without any unbecoming jarring of the two aesthetics. Hence the thinking behind the preservation and reconstruction of this New York land mark is something we can directly link to deconstruction thinking. Furthermore the consideration behind the preservation of the High Line through this evolutionary process is quite interesting. Rather than freezing the rail line in its original condition, this dynamic park design keeps its historic handprint intact whilst remaining relevant to modern day in the form of a public space.
More information at: http://www.thehighline.org/