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One El of a Park

Brooklyn native Wolfie Langway touches the native plants on a visit to the High Line. Photo: Pete Langway.

It’s not easy to find something that can win the hearts of New Yorkers and tourists, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has strolled along the High Line and was left uncharmed.

In its first week alone, more than 70,000 visitors walked through the Meat Packing District and Chelsea on this abandoned, elevated train track turned flowering urban oasis. But when the High Line was still just an architectural vision and the price tag loomed large, supporters and funders needed a bit more convincing. In fact, in 2002, the entire track was one court decision away from demolition according to Dan Doctoroff, then deputy mayor.

With allies in City government and the preservation and funding community, the track stayed put. With a grant of $35,000 from The Trust in 2003, Friends of the High Line was able to hire a fundraiser to help attract public money for the park, resulting in commitments of $74 million in City and federal funding. Our support also helped the organization launch a capital campaign to raise private donations totaling $12 million that got the project off the ground.

In 2010, Trust made a grant of $50,000 to make sure that the northern third of the trestel is converted into an extension of the High Line.

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