Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019. Photo: Timothy Schenck for the High Line.

Final Section of Manhattan’s High Line Opens Today

The last stretch of Manhattan’s elevated green space, the High Line, has officially opened today, ten years after the park welcomed its first visitor. Called the Spur, the section boasts the largest seating area in the park and will feature rotating commissions of contemporary art.  

Inaugurating the new public space is Simone Leigh’s Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman who stares down vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Tenth Avenue. The work is a celebration of the beauty, strength, and endurance of black women and is the first monumental work in Leigh’s series “Anatomy of Architecture,” which draws on architectural elements from Africa and the American South.

Chosen from a pool of fifty projects by an international advisory committee, Brick House will be on view for the next eighteen months. Claudia Rankine’s sound installation We Are Here was also commissioned for the opening of the Spur. Written with Helga Davis and LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs—with sound by Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste—the piece explores the meaning of urban presence and can be heard from four different locations on the High Line.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which marked the completion of the park, Gale A. Brewer, the current borough president of Manhattan, called the Spur “a place for all of us to get a new view of Manhattan [and] an example of the magic that can happen when communities work in partnership with [government]. Glad to see this last section of the High Line . . . extend this green streak in our urban landscape!”