Built in the 1930’s as an elevated freight line on the west side of Manhattan, the High Line originally ran 2 miles from St. John’s Park Terminal at Spring Street in the West Village up to the West Side Rail Yards at 34th St. With the growth of interstate trucking in the 1950’s, traffic on the High Line gradually diminished, and the southernmost section was torn down. During the 1980’s, the entire line was threatened with demolition. The Friends of the High Line was established in 1999 with the goal of turning the rail line into a public park. Their efforts paid off in 2005, when New York City took ownership of the line from the railroad company. Construction of the first section of the park, from Gansevoort to 20th Street, began in April 2006 and was completed in June of 2009. Section 2, running between 20th Street and 30th Street, opened in June of 2011. The final section, running up to 34th Street, opened in September of 2014.
The AAA began its weekly observing sessions on the High Line on August 25th, 2009. We’ve gone up every week since then, except for a break during the winter months of November through March, and the inevitable cancellations due to overcast skies.
AAA Observing Calendar
The AAA observes on the High Line every Tuesday evening, from the beginning of April through the end of October.
Getting to the High Line
The nearest subway station is the 14th Street & 8th Ave stop on the A/C/E trains. From there it’s only a block and a half walk to 10th Ave.
If you’re planning to drive, keep in mind that the area around the High Line is very busy at night – lots of restaurants, etc. Parking on Friday or Saturday evenings is nearly impossible.
Although the High Line extends from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, most of our observing will take place near the 14th Street entrance or just south of the Standard Hotel, which crosses over the High Line near 13th Street. You can enter the park at any one of these entrances/exits:
Gansevoort Street (with elevator access)
14th Street (with elevator access)
16th Street (with elevator access)
23rd Street (with elevator access)
30th Street (with elevator access)
34th Street & 12th Avenue (with ramp access)
The High Line itself is open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM starting April 1st. During the warmer months of June, July, August, and September, the park stays open until 11:00.
AAA observing takes place from dusk until 15 minutes before closing. When the waxing Moon is in the evening sky, we often begin our observing sessions a little before sunset.
One Tuesday each month during the summer, we also do solar observing using telescopes equipped with special filters for viewing the Sun. These events begin at 6:00. The dates for 2017 are: May 9, June 6, July 11, and August 8.
An early NY Times article about the High Line can be found here
The official website for the Friends of the High Line is at:
Cancellations due to weather will be posted on the AAA Google Calendar and the AAA Facebook page. You can expect it to be canceled if the clouds are thick or if it’s raining. This goes for any of the AAA Observing Events.