News Release: The High Line’s Robert Hammond Returns to Minneapolis for the Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series, March 21, 2019, 7pm at the Walker Art Center

February 1, 2019 by Janette Law

Nearing its 10-year anniversary and on the verge of opening its last “Spur,” the High Line has much to teach us about great design and equitable community development


Minneapolis, Minn. – Robert Hammond, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the High Line, returns to Minneapolis on Thursday, March 21, 2019, for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Nine years after his first talk at the Walker about New York’s High Line Park, Hammond will reflect on the innovative park’s phenomenal story, including its impact on the community and how the High Line experience is influencing prominent adaptive reuse parks projects from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Hammond’s talk takes place at the Walker Art Center, beginning at 7:00pm; tickets are free and will available at the Walker the evening of the event.

The High Line is perhaps the most visible adaptive reuse park project in America, opening to acclaim in 2009 and attracting an estimated five million visitors annually. It is renowned for its transformation of 1.45-mile blighted rail line that hovered overhead in lower Manhattan into an oasis for nature and culture, having presented works by more than 120 artists and offering more than 400 free public programs each year.

This April, the High Line will celebrate its 10th anniversary together with the grand opening of its third section, called the Spur. As these milestones come together, Hammond is coming to Minneapolis to give us a sneak peek at the High Line’s future and introduce us to The High Line Network, a convening of visionary parks-makers around the intersection of design and community building.

“Parks are proven economic engines – Minneapolis’s own Central Riverfront is a case in point – and as Twin Cities communities make critical investments in new vibrant public spaces, we need to understand all the implications,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. “Robert Hammond has reflected on the regional impact of the High Line and been leading a national exploration into how parks can deliver equitable outcomes for everyone. We must solve ever-pressing challenges through public space – from sustainability to equity and connecting people to nature.”

About Robert Hammond

Robert Hammond is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit conservancy that he co-founded with Joshua David in 1999. Friends of the High Line raises 98% of the High Line’s $14-million-dollar annual operating budget to maintain, operate, and program the park. To date, Friends of the High Line has raised over $300 million in public and private funding.

Robert Hammond is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit conservancy that he co-founded with Joshua David in 1999. Friends of the High Line raises 98% of the High Line’s $14-million-dollar annual operating budget to maintain, operate, and program the park. To date, Friends of the High Line has raised over $300 million in public and private funding.

Before the High Line, Hammond supported the launch of online businesses in the public health and travel commerce industries and worked as a consultant for an array of organizations, including the Times Square Alliance, and Alliance for the Arts.

He has been awarded the Vincent Scully Prize (2013), the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome (2010), the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal, along with David (2010), and an honorary doctorate from The New School (2012). Hammond is also a self-taught artist and served as an ex-officio member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees.

Additionally, Hammond is a co-producer of the film Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and was the opening-night selection for DOC NYC. Released via IFC in April 2017, the film chronicles a clash between mid-20th-century urban planning methods, and chronicles how they relate to today’s urban renaissance.

Thank You to Our 2018-2019 Sponsors and Partners

This season, the Parks Foundation’s event series is presented by Minnesota Public Radio News and produced in partnership with the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Loppet Foundation, and the American Society of Landscape Architects-Minnesota Chapter, and with additional support from Barr Engineering.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Since 2003, the Parks Foundation has raised more than $20 million for transformative parks projects in Minneapolis. Currently, the Parks Foundation co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects. The Parks Foundation also supports innovative Minneapolis parks projects, including Little Free Libraries® at all recreation centers, through equity funding, and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Learn more at MplsParksFoundation.org.

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Featured image courtesy Friends of the High Line

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