Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The High Line in Ward 8?

ART of WAR Concept: Nothing is more difficult than the art of maneuver. What is difficult about maneuver is to make the devious route the most direct and to turn misfortune to advantage

This past weekend, I went to New York City to get away and recharge. While there, I followed-up on one of my recent blog posts about an alternate use for the 11th Street Bridge. Many of the comments received from the previous post compared the proposed change to the High Line in NYC.

The High Line was an old railroad track that went through the neighborhoods of Manhattan. At one time the city decided they were going to demolish the train track because it was no longer being used. Then some residents got involved and had the idea that they could reuse the tracks for pedestrian use. Seems like a crazy idea, right?

Seeing the High Line first hand, however, gave me a better idea of what the reuse of the 11th Street Bridge could become. I have to say that I was completely blown away by the High Line and it got me even more excited about the 11th Street Bridge.

First, I noticed that the High Line is a huge tourist and residential attraction. As you can tell from the pics, all kinds a people come to check this out whether it was to read a book, enjoy the gardens or just to take a stroll with friends to catch up on life. In comparison, converting the 11th Street Bridge would serve as another District attraction that would bring people from all over the region to experience our great city.

There is always the conversation on how we can connect the divide created by the Anacostia River. A possible solution to this would be using the bridge as a predestrian walkway. This would serve as a connector without people realizing it. It could be used for the same purpose as described in NYC and a potential running path similar to the bridge in Georgtown.

The High Line was like an oasis, sometimes I forgot was in the heart of the NYC. With a similar design of gardens and creative seating, I can see how it would help to take some of the “Metro” out of DC.

What was also great about the High Line was that the architects were able to merge the redesign of the tracks with the existing infrastructure of the City. This created some of the most intriguing views in the City. As a result of my visit, I can now better imagine walking across the 13th Street Bridge, sitting on a bench having the same experience looking at Poplar Point or the Navy Yard. 

So let’s continue to have the conversation and let our imaginations run wild to see what this can become. This is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so let’s be sure to participate as a Ward.

This is what we have now...

This is what it can become...
Notice the old railroad tracks used in the design of the bridge

The bridge to the far right is what we have now...

This is what it can become...
Now I see how it is possible to plant trees on the bridge

Using the existing bldgs in the design...

This is what we have now...
A view from the bridge to the Navy Yard.

And what it can become...
I had to remind myself I was still in the city

What we have now...
A View from Poplar Point

Kinda Cool...

Tourist and Residents...

This was sign was funny. At one point in time, this part of the
city was filled with abandoned bldgs. Now developers
are making condos of these old bldgs and using the Highline as an attraction.
Maybe one day we will see "Steps Away from Anacostia's Arts District!"

Just me checking out the sites and sounds. 

Time to use that imagination of yours...

Again, just a concept of the bridge can become.


  1. Nice job Charles. It sheds light on the plausibility of the 11th street bridge concept.

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