Last weekend I visited the Chelsea Markets and The High Line for the first time. They are both truly wonderful examples of re-purposing industrial spaces that became obsolete for delightful public spaces for all to enjoy.
The Chelsea Markets were once the National Biscuit Company complex begun in 1890. These ovens once baked Saltines and Oreo cookies. Over the last decade the complex has been redeveloped into food markets, local bakeries and coffee brewers, high-end clothing samples sales, and restaurants. I particularly enjoyed how festively the markets were decorated for Halloween.
I just loved all of the complex pumpkin carvings, the zydeco musicians, and skulls hanging from the rafters.
After our twirl through the markets we strolled The High Line which is an impressive transformation of outdoor space.
Originally built in 1930 to remove dangerous trains from the streets by lifting the track 30 feet in the air, the final trains ran in the 1980’s. A community based non-profit group partnered with the City of New York to save The High Line from demolition and preserve the structure as a public park space.
Section 1 opened to the public in June of this year with the rest slated for 2010. I found the landscaping of grasses, benches, and trees a modern and unique interpretation of what a public space in the 21st century should be. The High Line design is led by James Corner Field Operations, with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
For more information, wonderful blog, and visitor’s pictures visit http://www.thehighline.org/