ARCHITECT WANTS TO BUILD A ‘VINE LINE’ ON THE WEST SIDE HIGHWAY

An architect wants to prettify the ugliness that we know as the West Side Highway.

Laurence Tamaccio, who lives on Riverside Boulevard, has presented a plan to install vines on the highway’s pillars between 61st and 72nd Street and add waterfalls in some areas. He created a video presentation about his idea, which we’ve posted below. He’s been meeting with community leaders and politicians and is working to start a nonprofit to run the project. He also wants to open a cafe in the park that would help fund the project.

There have been other ideas to deal with the highway, including plans to submerge it underground. Flooding from Hurricane Sandy could put those plans on hold however, Tamaccio told New York Press.

Check out the video below and go here to sign the petition.

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    1. Myron Pulier says:

      Nice, and ivy is great for mitigating architects’ errors, but:

      1) Would the ivy interfere with maintaining the highway substructure (scraping rust, painting)
      2) How would it look if some of the ivy becomes unhealthy (infected, poisoned)
      3) What about vandalism?
      4) What would maintenance/repair cost (root management, fertilizer, weeding, etc.)?

    2. JDUWS says:

      What a beautiful vision for this part of the park!

    3. Scooter Stan says:

      Re: “…a plan to install vines on the highway’s pillars between 61st and 72nd Street and add waterfalls in some areas.”

      Initially it sounds like a VINE idea, and many will say VINE-ot; although the usual nay-sayers will probably find something to VINE about.

      BUT:
      1) Waterfalls?!?! Using what water? From the river? Remember, the Hudson down here is less a real river than a tidal estuary (supposedly the Lenape referred to it as “river that flows both ways”…Lenape, of course), and its waters have a salt content. Does anyone remember the debacle caused by those artificial “waterfalls” alongside the Brooklyn Bridge a few years back? Real pretty to look at, but turns out the salty spray from those “waterfalls” wound up poisoning all the chi-chi potted plants at that chi-chi Brooklyn restaurant alongside the bridge!

      Such spray would only worsen the rusting problems noted above “(1) Would the ivy interfere with maintaining the highway substructure (scraping rust, painting); 2) How would it look if some of the ivy becomes unhealthy (infected, poisoned)”

      In other words, salt spray could create POISON(ed) IVY!

      Maybe not such a hot idea. Maybe instead we should hold a contest for some of this city’s best graffiti artists in which the winners would be invited to tag the structure. Benefits include:
      1) much needed color for this ugly structure;
      2) the extra layers of paint would help protect the underlying steel; and
      3) provide a reality check for all the 1-percenters with river views from their fancy-nancy apartments.

    4. ann says:

      I agree with the others, covering masonry and metal in ivy is a disastrous idea. It crumbles mortar, destroys integrity and holds moisture next to structural supports. Good idea in practice, completely unfeasible in reality.

    5. Amy C says:

      Ivy is certainly pretty, but isn’t is damaging to the structure underneath?

    6. Ken says:

      I don’t think so. Maintenance nightmare.

    7. N Macagno says:

      I love the highway’s pillars as a gorgeous example of our urban infrastructure. The arches are beautiful as they are! Please don’t disfigure them by making them look like a Disney park!

    8. Cato says:

      Why not just pay the graffiti artists to *draw* ivy on the structure?

      It will look the same,

      and the One Percenters living in the Trumpstrosity will decide the scratches are art,

      start a bidding war,

      and raise lots of money for the City by buying up the vandalism.

      Everybody’s happy!