The story of how the Highline Park in New York City came to be built is a fascinating account spanning many years and involving parties from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. After seeing the finished project, it is hard to fathom that the Highline was at one point incredibly close to being demolished. One of the factors that was most integral to saving the Highline, was a series of photographs by photographer Joel Sternfeld.
Joel was able to capture views of the abandoned structure that convey a beauty and potential that, to most people, was masked by the sheer unsightliness of a structure that had long fallen into neglect. These photographs eventually inspired enough people in the right position to affect change onto the one-mile stretch of elevated railway that runs through the Lower West Side of Manhattan.
The results have been tremendously positive and should serve as a reminder for all of us to strive to look beyond initial drawbacks and the unattractiveness of a building, site, natural feature, or neglected infrastructure to see the potential that it might possess.