"The High Line, now featuring Jeff Koons" could be the first in a series of taglines promoting themed intersections between bad contemporary art and everyone's favorite elevated park. Famed pop-artist has proposed dangling a 70-foot long replica of a 1943 Baldwin steam locomotive above a segment of the park. Koons's 'Train' will be fabricated from steel and carbon fiber, weighing in at some several tons, and will feature spinning wheels, a blowing horn, and puffing steam--all part of what the artist attributes to the "ephemeral energy that runs through the city every day."
Koons and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which has expressed interest in possibly acquiring the piece, have already initiated a feasibility study for 'Train', with further studies assessing the scope of engineering and cost estimates are currently being conducted by an independent fabricator. The first calculations have placed the cost of the sculpture at $25 million to construct and install. Friends of the High Line have been in on-and-off talks with Koons since 2005 about the possibility of erecting 'Train' at the park are enthusiastic to see the piece realized and hope to secure a donor to sponsor the project. "We’ve had a crush on the ‘Train’ for a while now," Robert Hammond, co-founder of High Line, told the NYTimes on Monday. "To me, it looks very industrial and sculptural. The craftsmanship that went into these industrial engines is quite beautiful."
Plans to complete the third and final phase of the High Line are underway. The parties behind 'Train' have argued that the project could drive significant revenue to the city and park, citing Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 'The Gates', which cost $21 million, but yielded $254 million in estimated profits, as an example of increasing and sustaining economic activity in the neighborhood.