A few years ago some creative folks imagined it as a park in the sky and raised millions to rehab the structure and to plant flowers along the elevated path. Now you can walk through Chelsea 20 feet in the air, enjoying the Manhattan skyline.
I don’t remember anybody thinking it would be anything more than a pleasant place to stroll above the crowds when it was being built, but according to an article I read today, the High Line has been directly responsible for doubling real estate prices in the neighborhood.
My point is that you just never know what’s going to make the difference either way. Which dilapidated house is the straw that breaks the city’s back? Or, as in the case of the High Line, what quirky, slightly frivolous addition to our daily lives might turn a neighborhood from Baltic Avenue into Park Place.
The Times story is worth a read for those of you who are interested in the concept of “place-making,” but please note it is written by a special kind of New Yorker who hates anything new that appeals to tourists or real estate developers. We can’t afford that attitude here but I don’t detect much of it around anyway.