"The idea of a park on a railbed in the sky can be a little hard to get your head around, especially if your only vantage point is looking up from street level at its rusted, pigeon-shit-scarred underbelly."
-- Adam Sternbergh in New York Magazine, 4/29/07
When Mangesh and I were first searching for New York office space back in 2007, we saw a Craigslist ad that looked very promising. The building was near the Chelsea Market and included two desks, and the rent was right in our price range. But when we met the real estate agent out front, we'd already decided it wasn't for us. We went on the tour anyway, like real troopers on a bad blind date, and we tried to stay positive. ("Ooh, there are far fewer cigarette butts littering the floor in the office itself!" / "The homeless people in the lobby seem very polite!")
Sensing we weren't about to sign a lease, our guide took us up to the rooftop deck. First he pointed to a much nicer rooftop deck next door that we would almost certainly never have access to. ("You like?") Then he gestured towards abandoned train tracks in the distance. "I know the place needs work," he said, "But when the High Line opens, this will be one of the hottest buildings in town. We'd be willing to do a long-term lease -- in 7, 9 or 15 years, you'd really be getting a great deal."
The High Line "“Â the elevated park on the west side of Manhattan "“ is open now from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, and while I'm still glad we passed on the 15-year lease, the pictures are pretty. Our friend Michael Surtees of Daylife (and DesignNotes) took a bunch of photos on opening day. I've posted a few below, and you can see them all here.