The New York Times describes the High Line as it has been established today as a “tourist-clogged catwalk and a catalyst for some of the most rapid gentrification in the city’s history”.
To think at the creation of this famous piece of New York history, it was only thought to house the traffic of about 400,000 people per annum to todays estimate of about 6 million people per year.
Personally, the High Line is one of my favourite pieces of architecture that I have seen in the city and its history that has been so well restored makes it all the more likeable.
The carefully placed artwork that fills all the nooks and crannies, really points occupants to where they want you to look and appreciate their creation even more.
The transformation of the park has clearly sparked mass gentrification in and around the Chelsea area which can be seen and felt as you walk the streets beneath it. The streets directly below the High Line or within view of the High Line have more upper class stores opening within it. Where as streets on the outskirts still have a different atmosphere (have less up-market stores and a different demographic of people).
Similar to the transformation of the High Line is the Cooper Hewitt’s major overhaul only re-opening early this year.
With three years in the making the Cooper Hewitt museum completely changed and modernised its image while still keeping to its roots and ensuring it didn’t loose any of its history.
I think these two pieces of New York history resonated with me as they disprove the notions that modern is always necessary and have totally created a new market based on their innovative approaches to up-cycling their biggest assets.
Both of these New York City icons have carefully and creatively succeeded restoring their history while also implementing the modern elements, drawing crowds much larger than their original expectations.
On a small scale, for me and my future in the Communications industry can learn a lot from these larger scale projects. Todays market definitely expects the unexpected.