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Travel Back In Time To The High Line When It Was Beautifully Abandoned And Overgrown

Spring 2002: To gain access to the old High Line, you had to cross an old truck yard next to the Javits Center, and climb up on to the line. To prevent trespassing, every 5 or 10 blocks they set up these fences. However, generations of explorers had cut holes or dug under them. (L05 ICF)


Spring 2002: the back side of the fence from the previous image. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: tons of industrial debris from the buildings around the High Line littered the abandoned tracks. (Jake Dobkin)



Spring 2002: an old overgrown siding, near 25th Street. A lot of the buildings abutting the Line were abandoned and covered with graffiti. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: further south on the High Line, there were overgrown areas that looked almost like meadows, some with wildflowers. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: this is the famous Revs/Cost wall at 23rd Street, which you can still see (although it was largely buffed in 2009 by construction crews that didn't realize its historical importance.) Only the upper part of the wall was visible from street level. (L05 ICF)



Spring 2002: the middle of the wall. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: The far end of the wall. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: overgrown tracks near 14th Street. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: one of the most interesting parts of the old High Line was this tunnel, that passed through buildings at 16th Street. Now the area is used for food and souvenir vendors. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: the 15th Street side of the tunnel. Note the two levels of tracks. (Jake Dobkin)


Spring 2002: this was down near the south end of the line near Gansevoort Street. This area was particularly overgrown and filled with broken glass and garbage. (Jake Dobkin)



2002: Many of the adjoining apartment buildings were using the High Line as a kind of backyard. People had planted small gardens, and moved BBQs out there. (Jake Dobkin)


2006: going under one of the barrier fences. (Raul G.)


2006: then and now, one of the best parts about visiting the High Line was the unique perspectives it gave you on the surrounding streets and buildings. (Raul G. )


2006: there was thirty years of graffiti up on the Line- almost all of it disappeared with the new park. (Raul G. )


2006: construction had already began on the new park, which would open in 2009- the first stages involved digging up the line to the bedrock- some of the track and soil would later be returned to make parts of the park. (Jake Dobkin)


May 2007: at this point there were still fields of wild flowers on the line. (Jake Dobkin)



May 2007: a bulldozer digging up part of the line. (Jake Dobkin)


May 2007: there was a lot of construction around 14th Street- buildings like the Standard Hotel were going up, and there was a lot of construction going on for the park underneath. (Jake Dobkin)


October 2007: the Standard Hotel going up above the park. (Jake Dobkin)


October 2007: the Frank Gehry IAC building is seen above the line at 18th Street- note the smooth concrete pour that was put in place before the planting and tracks were returned during park construction. (Jake Dobkin)


October 2007: graffiti on the line near 18th Street, during park construction.


October 2007: but up at the northern end, the High Line continued to look the same as it had since it was abandoned in 1980. This part of the park wouldn't open again until 2014. (Jake Dobkin)



October 2007: looking east around 30th Street. (Jake Dobkin)


October 2007: park construction near 21st Street. (Jake Dobkin)


October 2007: looking south during park construction. (Jake Dobkin)


October 2007: looking north near 25th Street during park construction. (Jake Dobkin)


2009: new planting at the park around the time it opened. (Jake Dobkin)


2009: the north end of the line was still undeveloped, and would be for another 5 years. (Jake Dobkin)



2009: some of the plants on the north end still grew pretty big. (Jake Dobkin)


2011: after the park opened, looking down from one of the nearby buildings. (Jake Dobkin)