The High Line South: D.C. Getting Its Own Magical Urban Wonderland

The High Line–a winding, above-ground garden built on an old train track that slices through Manhattan’s west side–is one of the city’s more deserving urban treasures, attracting swarms of tourists whenever the temperature is slightly warmer than frigid. (Remember that?) It has been such a success that the city is mulling a second one in Queens.

And now, as part of Washington, D.C.’s adorable insistence that it can have cool stuff too, our nation’s capital could soon be getting its own High Line-like repose.

The 11th Street Bridge Park, which just launched its website, bills itself as “the city’s first elevated public park located on the piers of the old bridge spanning the Anacostia river.” If all goes according to plan, the park will be built on a decommissioned stretch of freeway that is much wider that the High Line’s narrow, snaking walkways. When completed, it will span an area that’s the rough equivalent of three football fields end to end.

Unlike the High Line, Bridge Park will connect two much larger spaces: The Washington Navy Yard on one side, and Anacostia Park on the other–meaning DCers will theoretically have enough space to throw a Frisbee, or kick back and poke around on their BlackBerrys. Fundraising to meet its projected $25 million construction goal is already underway, and, beginning this spring, a competition will be held to conceptualize how the park’s design will be implemented. If it’s a hit with the local community, perhaps D.C. might even begin exploring an underground LowLine, too.CG