In 1999, when a historic elevated rail line was about to be demolished in NYC, Robert Hammond and Joshua David “raised the flag,” and began a 10-year battle to not only preserve the trestle, but to breathe new life into it. Just before the breathtaking “High Line” park opened to the public in 2009, Hammond shares insights about seeing a large-scale community project to fruition.
Robert Hammond is a Co-Founder and President of Friends of the High Line. His organization brought the High Line, a 1.5-mile-long disused elevated rail structure on Manhattan’s West Side, from the brink of demolition, in 1999, to the start of construction, in 2006, on its conversion to a public park. The organization has raised over $150 million, and the first phase of the park opened on June 9, 2009.Mr. Hammond has worked as a consultant for a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors and non-profits, including the Times Square Alliance, Alliance for the Arts, and National Cooperative Bank (NCB). As a founding team member and then as a board member, Mr. Hammond helped to launch thebody.com, the largest online HIV/AIDS information resource in 1996. Thebody.com achieved profitability three years after its launch and remains one of the few consistently profitable health-related websites.