If you're looking for a modern-day tale about people who overcame the odds to do something great, then do we have a book for you. High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky was co-written by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, two ordinary citizens with no prior experience in planning and development who are the ones behind the now famous public works project. Working with neighbors, elected officials, artists, leaders and local business owners, the duo took an old, rusty dilapidated area (an elevated rail line) and transformed it, over the course of ten years, into a must-visit New York experience.
The book chronicles their journey as they overcame challenge after challenge. With honesty and humor, they describe their incredible story. Here are some of my favorite excerpts.
Josh at the beginning: "You think of hidden things as small. That is how they stay hidden. But this hidden thing was huge. A huge space in New York City that had somehow escaped everyone's notice. Those early visits locked the place in Robert's and my minds. Something amazing could happen up here."
Josh on the design: "There are apsects of the High Line's progress that Robert had in his head from very early on and which he pursued with great determination. The design ideas competition was one of these. He, more than I, latched on to a high level of design as being integral to the future of the High Line."
Robert on the influence his mother had: "So much about the High Line reminded me of my mother, especially in the early days, when it seemed like such an unusual idea. She had taught me to find the beauty in the unexpected and the odd, things that other people might not notice, and to pursue my passions even if they were unconventional."
Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed the book using the identity and graphics she created for the High Line. In the second part of the book, you'll find images that show the park's development.
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