If you’re a long-time reader of REVITALIZATION, you are intimately familiar with Manhattan‘s High Line Park, the most famous example of the super-successful revitalization approach known as the 3Re Strategy (repurpose, renew, reconnect). You’re also familiar with the magnificent renovation project, the Moynihan Train Hall, and with the previously-announced vision of connecting them.
Now, on September 14, 2021, actual designs for a new connector that will link those two revitalizing assets were revealed, which will add value to both. This will happen via Brookfield Properties Group‘s publicly accessible Magnolia Court, which runs through its Manhattan West residential redevelopment project.
“Despite the challenges and difficulties presented by COVID-19, New York continues to get things done – building boldly and ambitiously to leave a lasting legacy for future New Yorkers,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The High Line’s connection to Moynihan Train Hall and other nearby attractions complements our investments in Midtown West, encourages better pedestrian access and provides New Yorkers with a truly one-of-a-kind experience. New York State remains steadfast in its commitment to building functional infrastructure that improves quality of life, promotes economic growth, and helps secure a greener Empire State.”
The proposed connection will give pedestrians safe, unobstructed access to the Far West Side of Manhattan via two bridges that will connect to the 10th Avenue terminus of the High Line.
A public-private partnership comprising Empire State Development, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Brookfield Properties Group, and Friends of the High Line is undertaking the $50 million project, which will be completed by Spring 2023.
Robert Hammond, Friends of the High Line Executive Director and Co-Founder said, “The new Moynihan Connector realizes a long-standing vision and the latest evolution for the High Line to provide New Yorkers with better and safer access to key transportation hubs, and the rapid project timeline meets the needs of a city emerging from the pandemic. The design is an exercise in contrast, with its ribbon of lush green plantings, sustainable wood materials and a traditional, Warren-truss design railroad bridge juxtaposed by the High Line’s steel structure and the modern glass facades of the surrounding buildings.”
“To be a truly 21st century city, we need more environmentally responsible ways of connecting. This infrastructure will allow connectivity from Penn Station all the way to the far west side or West Village with only having to cross one city street. We are excited to be part of this partnership, and look forward to making these connections available to all,” Hammond added.
Under the plan, the new landscaped Woodlands Bridge will extend eastward from the existing High Line parallel to 30th Street along Dyer Avenue from 10th Avenue to the mid-block between 9th and 10th Avenues, where it will connect to a second Timber Bridge which will travel north and connect into Brookfield’s elevated public space on the north side of 31st Street, which terminates on 9th Avenue directly across from the Farley Building and Moynihan Train Hall.
Brookfield Properties Executive Vice President Sabrina Kanner said, “Brookfield Properties is proud to partner with Governor Hochul, Empire State Development and Friends of the High Line as we take this major step forward in the extraordinary transformation of Manhattan’s West Side. We are thrilled to welcome New Yorkers and visitors alike to Brookfield’s Manhattan West development, which will serve both as a center for restaurants, shops, and year-round public programming and as a vibrant gateway connecting Moynihan Train Hall directly to the entirety of the High Line and the new West Side.”
The High Line Moynihan Connector will offer a safe, scenic experience for commuters, residents, and visitors navigating this heavily trafficked area near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.
Holly Leicht, Executive Vice President of Real Estate at Empire State Development said, “As New York continues to reopen and recover, our commitment to making innovative, strategic investments in areas ripe for future growth becomes an even more important part of our mission. The High Line Moynihan Connector is a catalyst for economic development, linking major New York City destinations, from Penn Station to Hudson Yards to the newly-expanded Javits Center.”
Other public and private leaders poured on praise for the project:
Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “The High Line is a world-renowned attraction that provides much needed green space and is a beautiful refuge for pedestrians,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “This expansion will help connect a major transportation hub to the High Line, bring much needed lighting to the area, and create a pathway around the dangerous entrance to Dyer Avenue.”
Senator Brad Hoylman said, “The High Line is one of the best urban parks in the world. Governor Hochul’s prioritization of improvements on the West Side of Manhattan and her incorporation of community feedback in this project are encouraging signs of what is yet to come. With improved pedestrian paths, protection of pedestrians from vehicular traffic, and additional lighting to the area, the High Line expansion will bring even safer park space for all to enjoy.”
Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried said, “As the West Side continues to grow, we need to ensure that future infrastructure enables the safe and convenient movement of pedestrians. The High Line extension and future improvements on the street level underneath will accomplish that, while bridging a new connection to the Penn Station area.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, “The High Line connector project is part of our city’s economic recovery. Extending the High Line beyond its initial footprint will allow the West Side to be more accessible to visitors and riders who use the Moynihan Train Hall and want to experience one of Manhattan’s public space treasures.”
Manhattan Community Board 4 Chair Lowell Kern said, “The High Line extension is good news for the ever increasing number of pedestrians traveling west from Penn Station and Moynihan Hall. With architectural lighting under it, and plantings at street level, the High Line extension will provide safety and comfort to an area which had long been neglected.”
All images courtesy of the Office of the New York Governor.