The High Line is a public park built on an abandoned, elevated rail line on the west side of Manhattan, NY.

“I loved the structure, the rivets, but then when I walked up there, there was a mile and a half of wildflowers running right through the city. That’s what I really fell in love with: the combination of this wild landscape on top of this industrial structure in the middle of the city.” – Robert Hammond, High Line Co-founder

“I assumed someone would be working to preserve it. I called around and thought the American Institute of Architects or the Municipal Arts Society would be working on this. So many things in New York have preservation groups attached to them. But pretty quickly I found no one was doing anything for the High Line and that it was actually going to be demolished. I heard the proposed demolition was on the agenda for a community board meeting in my neighborhood so I went to my first community board meeting ever and sat next to Joshua [David, High Line co-founder], who I didn’t know at the time. By the end of the meeting we realized everyone in the room was in favor of demolition except for us. So we exchanged business cards and we said, ‘Well why don’t we start something together?’ ”

Excerpt from Interview with Robert Hammond, Co-Founder of the High Line, 02/08/2012 by Jared Green
Hammond was awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism for his work on the High Line.