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Old Posted Apr 30, 2007, 9:40 PM
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More quotes..(from page 2of 8)

The tower proposed for 200 Eleventh Avenue will enable residents to take their cars up an elevator and park right next to where they live, just like in the suburbs.
Rendering: Hayes Davidson

Together, the pair is unfailingly gracious and quick to deflect praise. They refuse to even really acknowledge what is essentially their victory lap. They share a bemused ambivalence toward all the profiteers now benefiting from the High Line’s prestige. Early on, they looked into trademarking the name “High Line,” but found they couldn’t, any more than you could trademark “Central Park.” Besides, they say, eight years ago, an overabundance of enthusiasm for the idea of the High Line was the least of their problems. David recalls an early City Council meeting they attended, along with socialite Amanda Burden, where their pie-eyed plan was so roundly ridiculed that, he says, “You really did feel like you were getting pissed on.” Then Burden rose to speak. “She rallied the most incredible response about how great it is that there are still dreamers in New York,” says David.

“Since when is dreamers a dirty word?” says Hammond.


quotes, page 3

Nearly everyone involved in the Save the High Line effort—from Gifford Miller to Amanda Burden to Edward Norton to Diane Von Furstenberg—will tell you about their hallelujah moment. The idea of a park on a railbed in the sky can be a little hard to get your head around, especially if your only vantage point is looking up from street level at its rusted, pigeon-shit-scarred underbelly. “But the moment Robert got me up there, I fell in love with it,” says Miller. “You’re in the clouds, as it were—on the level of the Jetsons.”

I first truly understood this phenomenon when I ducked through a hobbit-size door in the backside of a Tenth Avenue warehouse—and stepped directly out onto the High Line, between 25th and 26th Streets. Here, the railbed stretches off in both directions, resembling a lush, weedy boulevard unspooling over the city streets. I was accompanied at the time by Douglas Oliver, who owns the Williams Warehouse, along with a silent partner. A trim man in his early sixties, with curly, salt-and-pepper hair, Oliver was wearing a collarless black peacoat and a black-and-white ascot. Currently, his warehouse is used to store sets for soap operas; as we walked among the stashed sofas and upended, ornate lamps, he shouted to his superintendent, “Hey, Felix, where’s my favorite coffin?”

Then we all stooped through the door he punched in his back wall three years ago, and boom, there we were, on the High Line—a moment that felt like stepping through the back of the wardrobe, out into Narnia.

The High Line has always been closed to the public, so from the beginning, Hammond and David understood that—fancy brochures and professionally produced videos aside—they had to find a way to bottle and sell this hallelujah moment. A friend recommended they contact the photographer Joel Sternfeld, who had shot ruins in Rome. They invited him up for a visit. Sternfeld remembers his own High Line epiphany. “Suddenly, it’s green! It’s a railroad! It’s rural! Where am I?” he says. As he stood out on the railbed, mouth agape, Hammond whispered to him, “Joel, we need the money shot.”

As it happens, Edward Norton, the actor, whose grandfather was a visionary developer who helped save Boston’s Faneuil Hall, read Gopnik’s paean, and decided he should lend his name and support to the Friends of the High Line effort. He phoned them up and, later, became a public face for the group, appearing on Charlie Rose and speaking at events. “He’d say, ‘Look, there are a lot of people who want your money,’ ” Hammond recalls. “ ‘There are a lot of causes out there doing more important things—saving lives or educating kids.’ Then he summed it up in a way I always liked: ‘This is about optimism. This is about New York reinventing itself.’ ”
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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