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Volume 77, Number 7 | July 18 - 24, 2007
High Line, hotel, Whitney Museum: Big attractions coming down tracks
By Albert Amateau and Audrey Tempelsman
The preparatory work on section one of the High Line between Gansevoort and 20th Sts. is expected to be completed in September when the landscape work will begin, according to Josh David of Friends of the High Line.
“Sandblasting the 70-year-old steel structure, repainting and repairing the concrete and installing new drainage will soon be wrapped up,” David said.
The landscape work that follows will include the concrete plank paving system devised by Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the plantings, lights, bathrooms and pedestrian access with stairs and elevators. Two temporary stairways to the High Line will be built at 18th St. and 20th St.
Some of the old freight viaduct’s rails, now being stored on the High Line north of 20th St., will be replaced to remind park visitors that they are walking on a railroad.
“We plan to welcome people onto section one in the summer of 2008,” David said.
Three of the five access points between Gansevoort and 20th Sts. will have elevators at Gansevoort at the south end of the High Line, at 14th St. and at 16th St. where The Caledonia, the first residential tower on the High Line, is going up between 16th and 17th Sts.
The Caledonia’s 190 luxury condominiums sold out in just eight months and 288 rental apartments 80 percent of them market rate ranging from $3,495 to over $10,000 a month will be available for lease this fall, with occupancy projected for winter 2008. Twenty percent of the rentals are to be affordable. Equinox, the fitness chain, will open a location within the tower with private access to Caledonia residents.
The Whitney Museum is committed to building its Downtown branch at the beginning of the High Line at Gansevoort and Washington Sts. but the project still needs city approval. The museum commissioned celebrity architect Renzo Piano to design the building once the city has set its terms.
According to Annie Washburn of the Meatpacking District Initiative, the agreement will likely include an upgrade of the Gansevoort Meat Market co-op building and a stipulation protecting the co-op’s market use. But Whitney representatives say little is set in stone.
Construction on The Standard, New York, an 18-story, 330-room hotel at 848 Washington St., is already flying. Passersby can now see the building’s base straddling The High Line, to which the hotel will have direct access.