Welcome To NewYorklandia: Put A Vine On It!
December 19, 2012
First it was the High Line. Then the Lowline. Now the Vine Line? New York architect and Upper West Side resident Laurence Tamaccio has drafted a petition to extend New York’s captivation with linear green space to the West Side Highway, where he wants to install a trellis of ivy to conceal the structure’s unsightly industrial blemishes. “The Vine Line is a concept to create a visual screen between the pedestrian viewer and the highway structure itself,” Tamaccio explains in a YouTube video about his proposal. “Almost like a scenic backdrop, but as a green wall that’s freestanding from the highway structure.” If he wins, the island of Manhattan will be one step closer to an improbable (but logical) fate of waking up one day under a carpet of ever-expanding parklike surfaces! Read more.
In Tamaccio’s proposal, a lightweight rod and cable system installed alongside the highway would support the green trellis. “This arbor treatment will create a grand promenade of living green columns and arches,” he writes in the petition, describing a span that starts with the midtown piers at West 59th Street and extends to 72nd Street at Riverside Park. According to the New York Press, the plan also calls for gray-water catchment that takes advantage of existing drainage pipes. And waterfalls!
Tamaccio takes inspiration from the High Line’s business model. He told the Press that his next step will be to form a nonprofit and talk with city officials and potential collaborators. A year-round café might serve as a source of funding, though it would have to be elevated because of threats like Sandy, he says.
In his video, Tamaccio comes out against postindustrial chic, at least for this stretch of his neighborhood. “For the High Line structure, that’s one thing. With this it’s, like, 1990s botch job,” he says. “This isn’t a structure that was ever meant to be looked at. It was meant to be ripped down.”