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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About NYC’s High Line

a close up of a busy city street

UPDATE: The High Line is open for timed visits. Make a reservation or let us do the work and join us on a private tour!

We are looking forward to walking the High Line again, hopefully soon and hopefully you’ll be on our Chelsea Market & High Line Food & History Tour. But in the meantime, we wanted to share some very intriguing facts about the High Line that most New Yorker’s don’t even know.

To learn more, book a private Virtual High Line Hidden Secrets & History Tour!

  1. The original High Line (elevated railway) was built because people kept getting killed on 10th Avenue. Specifically they were being hit by the trains that ran down the tracks on 10th Avenue, which was also known as Death Avenue.
  2. They removed over 100 tons of steel railroad tracks from the High Line. Some of them were laid down again as design features of the park.
  3. The diner under the High Line was featured in Taxi Driver and several episodes of Law & Order.
  4. That same diner, Hector’s Diner, has been around since the 1930’s. During that time, the Meatpacking district produced about a third of the country’s meat. Hector’s used to open at 2 am for employees clocking in for their shifts.
  5. The inspiration for the High Line was the Coulée Verte René-Dumon in Paris. The Promenade plantée (French for tree-lined walkway) or the Coulée verte (French for green course) is a 4.7 km (2.9 mi) elevated linear park built on top of obsolete railway infrastructure in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was inaugurated in 1993.
  6. The soil beds on the High Line only contain about 18 inches of soil. Friends of the High Line wanted the park to be sustainable, so a complex network of filters and drainage systems on multiple levels collect, store and redistribute rainwater to the plants.
  7. The High Line was almost demolished. Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999 to advocate for the High Line’s preservation and reuse as public open space.
  8. Over 720 teams from 36 countries entered the “Designing the High Line” competition in 2003. The design entries were displayed at Grand Central Terminal.
  9. The High Line is also one of NYC’s most popular places to experience outdoor art and sculpture.
  10. Several of the entries to the Designing the High Line competition were quite interesting. Our favorites include turning the High Line into a mile long elevated swimming pool and “Black Market Crawler, a moving structure with space for cultural, retail, and entertainment uses, both above-board and underground in nature.” WOW!

Images courtesy of

two people sitting on a bench on the high line a group of people walking on the high line  a close up of a garden