Friends of the Highline Summer Benefit

Last Wednesday, Friends of the High Line threw their 7th annual summer benefit, and were able to celebrate actual construction for the first time. The project basically involves turning 1.5 miles of abandoned elevated railway on Manhattan's West Side into a floating public park. The High Line project, which has been going on for some time, has always been exciting to me because it invites people to consider obsolete city infrastructure as a natural landscape, one that should inform the architecture that's built in its place, instead of be demolished to make room for something generic. In the words of co-founder Joshua David, the High Line "made you think of the kind of New York you envisioned before you moved here".

The after party, held in the nearby IAC building and sponsored by Domino magazine, was memorable. Guests were met with drinks, a mostly deserted, but promising, dance floor, and
large screens showing photos of the current Highline, overlayed with the proposed re-design.

A mini photo studio was set up to let people add their faces to the Portrait Project that's currently covering the construction site in Chelsea. (Photo via designnotes)

TH favorite Molo's Softwall was in attendance:

While I can't get mad at any effort to green an abandoned public space, especially when the proposed landscaping is so smart, it seems like these resources would be put to better use in a neglected neighborhood (New York has plenty), rather than the already redeveloping Chelsea. Majora Carter's Sustainable South Bronx initiative is an inspiring example of Highline-like methodology that is inspiring lots of other positive changes in a previously neglected neighborhood.

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