A new addition to New York's High Line
Almost 10 years after the first section of Manhattan’s High Line opened to the public, the Spur has been completed, an addition that continues the park’s tradition of planting with native wildflowers and including pieces of its former railway.
Running above 30th Street with a large open space above 10th Avenue, the Spur’s pathways are wider than other sections of the park, and connect to a large open space anchored by a plinth. It offers space for events, new bathrooms and ample seating, therefore hopefully also providing more breathing room for the often crowded attraction.
The Friends of the High Line developed more than two-dozen designs for the Spur, a project led by James Corner Field Operations, the same team behind the first three sections of the park.
In 2008 a “Save our Spur” campaign was launched to rescue the plan from demolition to make way for Hudson Yards. The compromise eventually reached has seen 10 Hudson Yards designed with a cantilevered section over the Spur.
An open piazza offers panoramic views up and down 10th Avenue and 30th Street, and includes the existing rail tracks to preserve the history of the site. Cascading wooden seating steps to the east and west sides of the Spur provide space for larger crowds at events.
Balconies boast views of the skyline, surrounding buildings, and other sections of the High Line, while on the Threshold, two large planters rise from the deck and compliment a lush wall of greenery.
The Plinth will host a rotating series of monumental new contemporary art commissions, the first of which will be Simone Leigh’s Brick House.
Cor-Ten steel and aluminium give the Spur the same industrial feel as the rest of the High Line, while its gardens have been inspired by a Northeastern woodland palette. This includes 8,500 perennials and 69 new trees and shrubs, all new species for the High Line. It also features the park’s largest planting beds, with grasses, perennials, clematis and wisteria hanging from gardens along the Coach passage, and flowering beds in the piazza changing colours with the season thanks to witch alder shrubs.
The Spur’s tilted planters include hackberry, sweetgum, black tupelo, hart’s tongue fern, strawberry bush and yellow lady’s slipper, providing a vibrant mix of colours.
According to the High Line team, “the design of the Spur gardens engages with the surrounding urban context with a “less is more” approach. The natural plantings are reminiscent of the original self-sown landscape and the rough allure of the High Line structure and rail tracks.”