By DECLAN PETERSON, age 11
The High Line is one of the most visited public spaces in New York City. It used to be an elevated train track but was transformed into a park, with lush foliage and a unique view of the city.
In 1934, the High Line opened. It was used to deliver milk, meat, produce and raw and manufactured goods without causing street-level traffic until the 1960s, but was eventually abandoned.
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani wanted to demolish the High Line, but in 1999, two men named Joshua David and Robert Hammond fought the decision. David and Hammond went to a community meeting and united to save the High Line after they saw how many people wanted to tear it down. They asked railroad representatives to bring them to see the High Line. “When we got up there, we saw a mile and a half of wildflowers in the middle of Manhattan,” Hammond said. David and Hammond were inspired to repurpose the railroad by a popular linear park in France called the Promenade Plantée.
High Line Park stretches one mile and is also one of only three parks in the area so it is important for cleaning the air. While it is important for communities to have green space, critics say that these projects can contribute to the process of gentrification. Some residents and local small business owners are mad because their rents are rising as the neighborhood becomes more popular. A city study showed that the value of property near the park more than doubled from 2003 to 2011. In a New York Times article, Alan Brownfeld, owner of Brownfeld Auto, blames the High Line for the loss of his lease after nearly a century. “It’s for the city’s glamorous people,” he said.