The "High Line" is a shining example of adaptive reuse in Chelsea, New York. Once used by trains to haul freight in and out of lower Manhattan, the mile and a half elevated platform sat dormant for many years and almost met the fate of a wrecking ball on more than one occasion. Local citizens, architects and designers stepped-in however to save the platform and redevelop it as a public space. It alleviates pedestrian traffic on the street, offers outdoor congregation areas, and gives you a much needed, peaceful break from the asphalt jungle humming below.
The High Line isn't all about aesthetics however. It also provides an economic jolt for local businesses and real estate developers looking to attract new customers and tenants. They're easy to overlook, but part of what makes the High Line such a success are the large number of entry/exit points so you aren't stuck walking just from one end to the other. You can drop-out at just about every major street by stair and in some cases elevators even.
Complimenting the architecture is a wide array of plant life and trees that at times give you the feeling of walking through a dense forest.
The trains that once carried freight may be gone, but there's a bit of old mixed-in with the new. Wandering the area you'll run across bits of hardware and accessories from the platform's former life, including these tracks nestled in a planting area next to the sidewalk.
The High Line is absolutely worth a visit next time you find yourself in New York.