On the High Line


A fully revised, updated edition of the award-winning guide to the High Line, the park that transformed an entire neighborhood and became an inspiration to cities around the globe
When the High Line opened in 2009 it was expected to attract around 300,000 visitors a year. In 2013, more than four million came. A survey by Travel & Leisure ranked it #10 on a list of the world’s most popular landmarks.On the High Line, first published in 2012, is an engaging guide to everything...

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A fully revised, updated edition of the award-winning guide to the High Line, the park that transformed an entire neighborhood and became an inspiration to cities around the globe
When the High Line opened in 2009 it was expected to attract around 300,000 visitors a year. In 2013, more than four million came. A survey by Travel & Leisure ranked it #10 on a list of the world’s most popular landmarks.On the High Line, first published in 2012, is an engaging guide to everything a visitor sees when strolling through the park: the innovative gardens and their thousands of native and exotic plant species; the architecture, both old and new, industrial and residential; and a neighborhood whose colorful history includes the birth of the railroad, the Manhattan Project, S&M clubs, and the legendary Tenth Avenue Cowboy.
In 2014, the final half-mile section of the park will open, and visitors will encounter a very different High Line experience: stunning vistas of the Hudson River; a birds-eye view of the trains in the working Hudson Rail Yards; and the original, self-sown landscape that emerged in the abandoned rail bed and inspired the High Line’s early champions. Striking new views of the city will be opened throughout.
The updated edition includes sixteen new pages devoted to the final section of the park, with original photography, design renderings, and a new essay by Rick Darke. The book has also been updated throughout to reflect dozens of changes in the neighborhood since first publication.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this edition, updated for the High Line's five-year anniversary, blogger-turned-author La Farge takes readers on an engrossing tour of the elevated park that quickly became one of New York's top destinations when it opened in 2009. The High Line, on Manhattan's West Side, was once a bustling rail line that brought meat and produce to the city. As industry gave way to art galleries and condominiums, the elevated tracks fell into disuse, and the land ceded to wildflowers and weeds (not to mention graffiti artists and squatters). The park's architects paid homage to these previous iterations in their design for "this generation's Central Park." Bursting with insights on history, botany, geography, architecture, and the arts, La Farge takes readers on a tour of the park from the "Slow Stairs" at the southern end to the Tenth Avenue Spur. Gorgeous full-color photographs by Scott Mlyn, Juan Valentin, and Rick Darke enhance the view on nearly every page. This will serve as a marvelous guidebook for visitors and readers interested in New York City history or urban planning. 400 illus. (May)
The Baltimore Sun
“Plenty of fascinating historical anecdotes.”
Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
“Lafarge’s revised edition incorporates many changes, large and small, including those wrought by Hurricane Sandy.”
Robert Hammond
“Great . . . I thought there wasn't much I did not know about the High Line but I learned so much about the history and the neighborhood. People are going to love it.”
The Wall Street Journal
“With hundreds of photos spanning the years before, during and after the site’s construction, the book lends context to the reclaimed urban space that has become one of the city’s most popular attractions.”
Chicago Tribune
“Fascinating. . . . A must for anyone who plans to visit the High Line.”
Interior Design
“[Annik LaFarge’s] book, with its plentiful facts and photographs and 3-foot-long foldout map, is the perfect guide to take . . .”
The Independent UK
“Packed with photos expressing exactly how much the High Line Park has contributed to city life…the book captures exactly the delightful design and planting [and] the spirit of each little section of the park...It has the gentle reader reaching for the internet to start looking for plane tickets.”
“LaFarge gives a good account of the campaign to save and transform the High Line and along the way—quite literally—she drip-feeds us with a torrent of informative snippets, both generally municipal and specifically horticultural.”
Lynden B. Miller
“The High Line is a unique elevated celebration of nature and the city and this book shows all aspects of this brilliant project captured in spectacular photographs.”
Piet Oudolf
“This book captures the experience of the High Line, setting it in historical and cultural context, and illustrating how a city can meld its industrial heritage into a vibrant new landscape that can be enjoyed by millions.”
David Byrne
“Rails to trails! Dead tech repurposed—beautiful, and insanely popular. FDR Drive, you're next!”
Hudson Valley News
“A book that will give pleasure and respite to all who love New York City but wish it were somehow quieter, prettier, more conducive to contemplation without electronic devices buzzing from all sides.”
“The photographs spectacularly capture the vibrance and beauty of the High Line for the many different things that it is, which includes being a lightning rod for other artistic visions.”
Library Journal
This may be the shortest trip, 1.5 miles, written about in a long time. The New York City High Line is an abandoned elevated railway line that cuts through lower Manhattan from Gansevoort Street northwest to West 34th Street. This now beautiful and innovative park could have easily gone the way of lower parts of the High Line, which were torn down for real estate development. But in 1999, local preservationists saw the potential for a park three stories over the streets and sidewalks of one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Begun in 1934 as a way to keep pedestrians from being struck by train traffic, this "life line of New York" blazed a trail through and behind buildings. But as factories left Manhattan in the 1960s and 1970s, the need for this type of industrial railway ceased, and by 1980 so did the last train. Reading this revised edition of the 2012 guide will make the casual tourist, and perhaps even an oblivious Manhattanite, seek out a section of the park (or maybe even the entire route) for a stroll. The book gives a block-by-block history of what was once on the property and how it is has been transformed. The prize, however, goes to the volume's photographs. VERDICT Recommended for those living in or planning to visit New York City.—Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500291412
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 5/20/2014
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 259,481
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Annik LaFarge is a lifelong New Yorker who currently lives along the High Line in Chelsea, where she writes the blog Livin’ the High Line.

Rick Darke’s many books include The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes.

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