Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

The High Line

In Guest stories on March 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Here at Holy Apostles, we’re only a few blocks away from the beautiful High Line Park. This Chelsea oasis is a great place to rise above the hustle and bustle of the city streets, and is built atop the old New York Central Railroad track. You can click here to find The High Line on Facebook. Here, one of our Writers’ Workshop contributors, Jay Stockman, talks about the history of the High Line and the importance of preserving it as a landmark of the West Side and of New York City itself:

In my other life I’m a historian. I see how parts of the city I live in have changed over the years. When I first saw the rail trestle by 10th Avenue from 34th to 14th Streets, I found out more about its origin. In the early 1900s, everyday life in the West Chelsea part of Manhattan featured a busy waterfront. Railroads were used a lot more. They moved cargo to and from the busy waterfront. The business was a danger to much of the foot traffic near 10th Avenue. In the 1930s, a rail trestle was built called the High Line. It connected the 34th Street rail yards, the Post Office at 30th Street, and many businesses along the roads length. The High Line saw much use with the busy Westside waterfront until truck transport began to replace rail trips.

The High Line grew less busy after the 1950s as pier traffic lessened. It had almost become abandoned through lack of use. A federal program relating to inactive railways caused growth of local groups wanting to resurrect what was once there. One of these groups in Chelsea is called Friends of the High Line. When I first moved to Chelsea in 1974, I had no idea it would become such a hot, chic neighbourhood. I want to push for the continuation of the High Line, finding a new life for this long road.

Jay Stockman

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