Once a rusted, dilapidated eyesore and now one of the most highly praised green spaces in the world, the High Line is a public park built atop an abandoned elevated rail line on Manhattan’s west side. Robert Hammond, executive director of Friends of the High Line, discusses how design helped raise $170 million dollars to save the historic structure from demolition, create the most inventive public park in New York City, and transform the way that planners and governments around the world think about revitalization and public space.
Robert Hammond is executive director of Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit conservancy that manages the High Line. Hammond co-founded Friends of the High Line with Joshua David in 1999. Together they worked with the City of New York to save the High Line from demolition. Friends of the High Line has raised more than $170 million in public and private funding and manages the park under a licensing agreement with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.
Before the High Line, Hammond helped start several businesses and consulted with nonprofit organizations. He was awarded a 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. He is a self-taught artist, and served as an ex-officio member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2005. Hammond graduated from Princeton University in 1993."