Green Line New York: a former railway line converted into an urban park
New York's Green Line or High Line is a suspended urban park of 2.3 kilometers. Before becoming a green promenade, the Green Line was an old railway line located high up.
Today, the High Line is one of New York's must-see places. On this green line which calls for relaxation, locals and tourists alike love to stroll, rest, take photos and enjoy the view of the neighboring districts (Meatpacking District and Chelsea). The Green Line is therefore the unmissable event for enjoy a moment of calm and to get away from the constant bustle of Manhattan Island.
The history of the New York Green Line
At the start of the XNUMXth century, the Meatpacking District was experiencing heavy traffic. It was completely saturated between horse-drawn carriages, pedestrians, motorists… 10th Street was also nicknamed “the street of death” as it was dangerous and the accidents were numerous. Faced with this dangerousness and to remedy this security problem, the public authorities decided to create a railway line 10 meters high. So in 1930, the creation of a railway began, which allowed trains to transport all kinds of goods. Warehouse constructions along the railway line also developed.
But in the years 1950-1960, transport by truck took up a lot of space and the train began to decline (the last to pass on this railway was in 1980). Over time, this railway line was therefore abandoned : the weeds began to invade it and its destruction was even considered. But in 1999, Robert Hammond and Joshua David, two residents of this railway decided to create an association to save it. This is how they proposed the creation of a suspended urban park.
In 2004, the city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, validated the project and so the creation of the Green Line began. Its first section was inaugurated in 2009, the second in 2011 and the third in 2014.
Today the Green Line is a must see place in New York. Locals and tourists love to stroll there and enjoy the calm of this green promenade located high up!
A 100% ecological green promenade
The New York Green Line is a place to relax. But besides its pleasant and quiet side, the High Line considered as " the longest green roof in the world " is also an ecological green walk. Indeed, throughout your walk, you will be able to see many varieties of plants and flowers. To ensure their development and so that they are always beautiful, gardeners and horticulturalists take care of them. Moreover, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask these professionals for information. Otherwise, a map is available if you want to know the different species of flowers and plants in the area.
On the Green Line, everything is equally healthy : no pesticides and toxic products are used. Everything is therefore natural; a good point for the vegetation, the environment and the birds having chosen the Green Line as their place of residence!
On the High Line, you will also see rails from old railway lines. And the wood used for the furniture and fittings is Ipé. Admittedly, the latter is not from the United States, but it is renowned for its durability (it can last up to 100 years).
Finally, the lights illuminating the High Line are Ground-facing LEDs to limit light pollution and not to disturb people living in surrounding buildings.
What can we do and see in this suspended park?
Just walk around
The Green Line is a popular place for locals and tourists. It must be said that this suspended park offers a multitude of activities; what astonish you!
The first activity that I recommend is to just enjoy the place : relax on a deckchair, contemplate the view offered, read a book, rest, admire the plants and flowers… If you can, wait for the sunset; the show is magnificent! And for those who like to take pictures, the Green Line offers good spots:
- At 18th Street, you can see the Empire State Building.
- At 17th Street, sit on the steps of the Urban Theater and look through the picture windows that overlook 10th Avenue.
- At Gansevoort Street, a nice view of the Meatpacking District awaits you!
But don't forget to keep your eyes open throughout your ride. Other points of view are to be discovered and the architecture that surrounds you is worth a look!
And don't forget to plan a picnic. The Green Line is the ideal place for an outdoor lunch! In addition, chairs and tables have been installed, so take advantage of them! Otherwise, head to one of the nearby restaurants to sample some local dishes before continuing your ride on the High Line!
Take a guided tour
Want to know more about the Green Line and take a step back? Take a guided tour! Tuesdays at 18 p.m. and Saturdays at 30 a.m. (May to October) you can take a free guided tour. During this, a volunteer will tell you the story of the Green Line and answer any questions asked. But beware ! Remember to arrive early, as the number of participants is limited to 20 people. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to be part of the group!
Un private tour can also be arranged. The latter can accommodate up to 40 people and its price varies from $ 250 for 12 people to $ 600 for 40 participants.
Take part in organized events
Every year, many events are organized on the Green Line. So, if you like gardening, the arts or even history, do not hesitate to inquire (directly on the official website) about the various events organized. And if you wish participate in the maintenance of the place, become a volunteer!
Finally, every summer, walks led by a guide, yoga classes, art exhibitions and even dance performances take place on the Green Line. Not to mention the small traders which settle throughout this green walk for our greatest pleasure! In short, on the High Line, you won't have time to get bored!
Practical information on the New York Green Line
The different accesses to the Green Line
Access to the Green Line is completely free. To access it, several entries are available:
- Gansevoort Street.
- 14th street.
- West : 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd street, 26th, 28th, 30th et 34th.
For the direction to follow (from north to south or vice versa), it depends on what you plan to do after your ride on the Green Line. If you choose to start from the north and work your way down south, you can reach the vibrant Meatpacking District. In the opposite direction, you will come close to Times Square.
Green Line opening hours vary according to the season. So, if you go there during the summer (June 1 to September 30), the park is open from 7 a.m. to 23 p.m. During the winter (from December 1 to March 31) you can go for a walk from 7 a.m. to 19 p.m. Finally, during spring (April 1 to May 31) and fall (October 1 to November 30), the hours are extended a little: from 7 a.m. to 22 p.m.
Is the Green Line accessible to everyone?
The answer is yes. Everyone can enjoy the place since elevators are located at the following entrances: Gansevoort Street, 14th street, 16th street and 30th street. Strollers and people in wheelchairs can therefore access the Green Line.
Rules to follow on the Green Line
To preserve the beauty of the park and to keep the Green Line a pleasant place, rules have been put in place for everyone.
First of all, you will not be able to walk your dog, because urine is harmful to some varieties of plants.
Skateboards and rollerblades are not allowed either. Other prohibition: you cannot pick plants and / or pick flowers. Lying down in the middle is not allowed either! To rest, chairs, benches and deckchairs have been installed all along the Green Line.
If you have planned to have a picnic, this is allowed, but do not plan alcohol ; it's forbidden. Ditto, for cigarettes, smoking is not allowed.
Finally, don't forget to throw your papers and the like in a trash can.
Tell us what motivates you!
- Toilets are available at Gansevoort street and 16th street.
- Water fountains have been installed at Gansevoort Street, 16th Street, 18th Street, 23rd Street, and 30th Street.
- You can make a donation to the association "Friends of the High Line" which aims to preserve and conserve this urban park. If you want to make a gesture, do not hesitate!
You will have understood it: walking on the Green Line is to be expected during your stay in the Big Apple. And once your walk is over, do not hesitate to walk the Chelsea district, an artistic district, but not only! You will find there in particular the Chelsea Market, a covered market where good savory and sweet things await you!
And to visit other places of interest during your trip to New York, here is a top 15. In this one, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, MoMA, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, the Flatiron Building and many more are on the program!