The third edition of On the High Line, the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and acclaimed guide to the park, will be published in June 2024 by Fordham University Press / Empire State Editions.
Built atop a former freight railroad, the “park in the sky” is regularly cited as one of the premiere examples of adaptive reuse and quickly became one of New York’s most popular destinations, attracting more than 8 million visitors a year. This updated 3rd edition, published to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the park’s opening in June 2009 and the 90th anniversary of the New York Central Railroad’s elevated freight line in June 1934, remains the definitive guide to the park that transformed an entire neighborhood and became an inspiration to cities around the globe.
In short entries organized by roughly two city block sections, On the High Line provides rich details about everything in view on both sides of the park. Illustrated with more than 115 black & white photographs, it covers historic and modern architecture; plants and horticulture; important industries and technology innovations that developed in the neighborhoods the park traverses, from book publishing and food distribution to the introduction of cold storage and the development of radar, the elevator, and talking movies. Updated to include newly opened sections of the park, this edition also features a new conversation pertaining to the more controversial side of the High Line’s story and how it became a poster child for the most grievous manifestations of gentrification and inequity in public spaces. Author Annik LaFarge provides a frank discussion on how the park’s leadership created a platform for discussing these issues and for advising other projects on how to work more inclusively and from a social justice and equity perspective.
On the High Line serves as an educated travel companion, someone invisibly perched on a visitor’s shoulder who can answer every question, including what was here before, moving back in time through the early 20th century, the Industrial Revolution, and the colonial and pre-European times when this stretch of what we call Manhattan was home to the Lenape people, and much of it was covered by the waters of the Hudson River. A companion website with more than 650 photos – historic, contemporary, rooftop and aerial – can be viewed upon publication at HighLineBook.com.
Praise for On the High Line
“Taking in the sights along the High Line is easy enough, but [On the High Line] seeks to deepen the experience.”
― Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating. . . . A must for anyone who plans to visit the High Line.”
― Chicago Tribune
“Plenty of fascinating historical anecdotes.”
― Baltimore Sun
“Great . . . I thought there wasn’t much I did not know about the High Line but I learned so much about the history and the neighborhood. People are going to love it.”
― Robert Hammond, co-founder, Friends of the High Line
“Engrossing. . . . Bursting with insights on history, botany, geography, architecture, and the arts.”
― Publishers Weekly
” …the book captures exactly the delightful design and planting [and] the spirit of each little section of the park…It has the gentle reader reaching for the internet to start looking for plane tickets.”
― The Independent (UK)
“LaFarge gives a good account of the campaign to save and transform the High Line and along the way―quite literally―she drip-feeds us with a torrent of informative snippets, both generally municipal and specifically horticultural.”
“This book captures the experience of the High Line, setting it in historical and cultural context, and illustrating how a city can meld its industrial heritage into a vibrant new landscape that can be enjoyed by millions.”
― Piet Oudolf, landscape designer, the High Line
“Rails to trails! Dead tech repurposed―beautiful, and insanely popular. FDR Drive, you’re next!”
― David Byrne, musician, artist
“A book that will give pleasure and respite to all who love New York City but wish it were somehow quieter, prettier, more conducive to contemplation without electronic devices buzzing from all sides.”
― Hudson Valley News