Tag Archives: High Line

High Line Park

New York “Parkitecture”: An abandoned elevated freight rail line on the Lower West Side has a new life as a one-of-a-kind elevated green space. The park winds from 34th Street near 12th Avenue to Gansevoort Street and Washington Street. (The northernmost extension opened in 2014.) You can enter at either end or at several stairways in between. Visit http://www.thehighline.org/ for more information.

Besides being an enjoyable destination unto itself, High Line is an excellent vantage point for spotting architectural landmarks of Chelsea, West Chelsea and Gansevoort Historic Districts.

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Gansevoort / Meatpacking District

The Gansevoort / Meatpacking District is tucked under Chelsea – just a block downtown from Chelsea Market: from 14th Street south to Horatio Street, Hudson Street to Tenth Avenue. The warehouse loading docks are mostly empty and quiet; high fashion boutiques have edged out most of the wholesale meat suppliers. (Navigating the cobblestone streets must be murder in high heels!)

Meat packers were once supplied by rail – Gansevoort Street is the southern terminus of The High Line, the abandoned elevated rail line now turned into a park. (Also see High Line Park gallery.)

One of the architectural standouts is The Standard Hotel – which straddles The High Line on massive supports. The hotel entrance is in a bright yellow cylinder – there’s no sign anywhere to tell you it’s a hotel. I asked the doorman about that – he explained: “This is not your standard hotel.”

Gansevoort / Meatpacking District Recommended Reading

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Standard Hotel

Standard Hotel, as they are fond of saying, is not your standard hotel. Perched 30 feet above the High Line park, it’s shaped like an open book – a book that’s also open in the sense that the facades are transparent (not mirrored or tinted) glass.

All that glass makes rooms seem larger than they are, but sometimes guests forget(?) to close the drapes, leading the NY Post to dub the Standard Hotel the “eyeful tower.”

The building’s design and location presented some unique engineering challenges. Engineers had to cope with the soil conditions (landfill), flood resistance, a high water table, and strict limits on how close to the existing High Line structure they could build. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat case study describes how Ennead Architects met those challenges.

For all of the Standard Hotel’s non-standard features, the property did try to blend in at street level: The Standard Grill restaurant was constructed with salvaged brick, in a style that closely mimics the meatpacking warehouses of the neighborhood. You’d never guess that it was new construction.

Standard Hotel Vital Statistics
Standard Hotel Recommended Reading

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