“Nine Reasons Why the High Line Sucks”

"Linear parks are often a great way to link parks or green areas together. This image says it all. The Highline is a bridge to nowhere."

“OObject” reviews, or rips on, the High Line by Diller Scofidio + Renfo.

What do you think? Too harsh? Nailed it?

9 reasons why the highline sucks
The Highline is fashionable in every sense. A park inspired by one in Paris, a combination of Euro chic, treehugging sanctity and hipster industrial grunge.

But it sits above ground, shovels people off the streets via stairs which cyclists can’t use and leads from nowhere to nowhere. In addition, little money has been spend on the dark spaces underneath, which could easily negate any benefit provided above.

The designers involved are great and there are nice touches, but could it have been better just to have torn it down and created something at street level. Such talk is heresy, but here are 9 reasons why we are disbelievers.


6 Responses to ““Nine Reasons Why the High Line Sucks””

  1. 1 Pablo Garcia
    2009/06/16 at 1:26 pm

    I think it telling that the comments posted in the article linked above are overwhelmingly opposed to the nine points presented.

    Personally, as someone who knows the project well from inside and out, most of the points are quite naive and simplistic. The comparisons are loose and do not take into account the nuances of what makes the HighLine unique. As new architects, you have to learn how to discern architectural criticism especially in the world of instant e-gripes.

    Point by point: New York is a New New York, not the rough and tumble place of the 1970s and 1980s. Needles, underpasses, urban decay from 30 years ago are not the same problems as today. The only argument I understand is the unfortunate lack of bicycle access, and I can tell you from the inside that there were more elevators and vertical conveyance systems planned, along with a lot of features cut from the budget.

    Also, the most interesting part of any landscape project is time. How things grow, how people occupy and live in the active ecosystem over seasons, years, and generations.

    And who ever said that parks have to “go” somewhere? Where does Central Park, Grant Park, Schenely Park go?

  2. 2 Liza
    2009/06/17 at 1:21 pm

    With respect to the linear aspect, I think what they mean is that the High Line stops abruptly and doesn’t transition back down to the lower level.

  3. 2009/06/17 at 9:33 pm

    Even as an avid cyclist, I don’t think bicycles belong on the High Line, and I don’t think that’s necessarily such a bad thing. For one, the High Line is a very pace-oriented experience – zipping along on a bike won’t accentuate the more positive features of the project. Biking also generates a lot of chaos when cyclists are forced to share space with pedestrians (that’s why you’re suppose to ride on the road, not the sideWALK).

    Yes, there needs to be a safe place for people to ride bikes in the city. But this isn’t it.

  4. 2009/06/24 at 12:37 pm

    And if you aren’t sick of the High Line yet, you can experience it daily even if you don’t live anywhere near the city.


    By wearing it.


  5. 2009/06/24 at 1:27 pm

    Hats, bags, shirts, and pants inspired by the High Line. Click on “wearing”.

    I just found it interesting / amusing (especially the shorts…). Architecture influencing fashion.

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