Ceremony opens last section of High Line park

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Among those participating in Tuesday's ceremony opening the High Line Spur, the final section of the linear park, are Friends of the High Line co-founders Joshua David (fourth from left) and Robert Hammond (fourth from right). Wielding the scissors next to Hammond is New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.
Ralph Spielman

NEW YORK — Speakers and a musical performance marked Tuesday’s official opening of the last piece of the High Line linear park, with more than 300 on hand on an exceptionally beautiful, sunny morning.

The short Spur section — built for mail trains to reach the Morgan Post office — is the final section of the 1.5-mile park, built on the elevated West Side Freight Line completed by the New York Central in 1934. [See "Final section of New York's High Line set to open," Trains News Wire, June 4, 2019.]

A musical performance of “I Walk the West Side Line” by singer/composer Toshi Reagon opened the ceremony, followed by a ribbon cutting by a mix of local politicians, the design team responsible for the Spur, the two founders of the group behind the High Line project, and High Line Board members. 

Robert Hammond, a co-founder and current executive director of Friends of the High Line, noted that as recently as two years ago, no one was sure that the Spur would exist. Related Companies, the developers of the Hudson Yards complex adjacent to the Spur, planned to use the space for other projects. Pressure from local residents and politicians finally forced Related to change, but it took nine years.

Gayle Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, spoke of the late.Peter Obletz’s efforts starting in 1981 to make sure that the High Line was not torn down. His initial work to save it helped the efforts of Hammond and co-founder Joshua David.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, responsible for the City’s partial budgetary support of High Line operations, said, “The High Line has never strayed from its roots of being integrated in the local community, something that New Yorkers are proud of. People from all over the world, when they come to New York CIty, they go to the High Line. It has become an international symbol of what is possible,”

Said Hammond, “Our real objective is to keep getting it better, to keep doing amazing things, and keep exceeding expectations like this.”

More information is available at the High Line website.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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