Last Friday my husband and I had a rare date night. We walked around some of the old neighborhoods in the downtown area before picking up our son. I was struck by a few of the yards. They used natives and adapted natives to fill nearly the entire front yard, a really smart thing in this year's drought conditions. I would love to do something similar in our front and backyards, and it brought back to mind the High Line in New York City.
The High Line is a park located on Manhattan's West Side that used to be a working rail for freight cars coming into the Meatpacking District. Between 1851 and 1929 the freight cars were street-level in this very heavily industrial area. The line was elevated 30 feet above the roads for safety around 1930. According to the official web site for the High Line, "So many accidents occur between freight trains and street-level traffic that 10th Avenue [became] known as Death Avenue." The High Line as a freight line stopped train service in the 1980's.
The High Line as a park is an inspiration and gem. The plants that are used were inspired by the plants that seeded themselves up there in the 30 years of disuse. The design is amazing. They have fused history with modern architectural details that still recall the past. Corten steel which naturally rusts and ages to give amazing texture and interest is paired with glass, concrete, and gorgeous plants which are suited for the area. Here are some of the pictures I took when I was in New York for business in May. I would love to see it in every season!
|I'm a sucker for Corten. Here it's used as a planter next to a concrete bench.|
|Corten and glass together. This is one of the access points from the street up to the park.|
|I love this one so much that it's my desktop wallpaper.|
|Where many years ago you could have seen a train pass through.|
|Where it would have gone to pick up freight.|
|And finally for some perspective, a view from street-level. If you didn't know it was there you would probably keep on walking.|
I hope you enjoyed seeing just a glimpse of this fantastic place in New York City, and that it inspires you to use natives for your area too.