Chelsea Clinton, Martha Stewart Celebrate Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation at High Line Benefit
The great and the good of New York society gathered at the "Spur," the third and final section of the High Line, which overlooks 10th avenue and 30th street.
The last remaining leg of the High Line — an abandoned New York City elevated freight rail line that was transformed into a public park on Manhattan's west side — is complete and prepared to open to the public next month. But first, the non-profit conservancy that undertook the project more than 20 years ago, used the new space to honor the High Line's largest donor, the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation.
"I still can't believe it exists," Diane von Furstenberg told The Hollywood Reporter.
Both the fashion designer and her husband Barry Diller have devoted their time and money to wide-ranging philanthropic endeavors, though Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line, said numerous members of the von Furstenberg family have been involved with this project.
"Diane is the ultimate dreamer and believer," Hammond said, adding that many people — himself included — thought that the space would never be completed, but the von Furstenberg family "believed in it, and they were with it through every step."
Dubbed "the Spur," the new section unfolds in three parts: the Coach Passage, as it goes through Coach's global headquarters at 10 Hudson Yards; a series of planted balconies; and an open piazza with views up and down 10th avenue and 30th street.
On Tuesday, alongside teak-wood seating and Simone Leigh's 16-foot-tall "Brick House" sculpture — the current art showcased on the piazza's plinth, which rotates every 18 months — Chelsea Clinton, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Andy Cohen and others gathered for cocktails.
"I work on 26th street so I watched this place be built," Stewart told THR, also explaining that she's working on her own philanthropic project nearby: a second location for The Martha Stewart Center for Living. According to Stewart, the new Mount Sinai venture will be the "first downtown hospital devoted to the aging population over 65.
"It's a really great thing," Stewart said. "It's a philanthropic venture that I'm really interested in because we're all getting older."
Couric described the High Line as "an oasis" for both New Yorkers and tourists.
"In the middle of this urban sprawl, to have something that is so special and tranquil in this own way, is fun," she told THR.
The Spur opens in June.