15 years of the High Line: From 'Death Avenue' to NYC park

The High Line is celebrating 15 years in New York City.

It has been a public park since 2009. 

The High Line is known for its botanical gardens, installations and stunning views. 

"Now, as we mark the milestone of 15 years since the opening of the first section of the park in June 2009, we recognize the collective of dreamers like you who got us here and who will carry us into the High Line’s next chapter," the High Line said on Instagram.

"One of the things I love about the High Line is that we are a local park for the people that live in the neighborhood. This is a New York City park and it's free," said Alan van Capelle, executive director of the High Line.

Originally, the High Line wasn't high at all. It was ground-level trains that hit and killed people. 

"Tenth Avenue is called ‘Death Avenue’ and they even had cowboys on horses riding along the trains in an attempt to try to make sure pedestrians weren't hit," Capelle said.

After that, the High Line was elevated in the 1930s.

"One of the things that's happening on our 15th anniversary year, since the opening of the first section, we have re-opened the northernmost section called ‘Around the Western Rail Yards,’ and people can come up this year and see all the self-seated landscape exactly like you would have found it," Capelle said. "Twenty-five years ago, when they started ‘Friends of the High Line,’ we got this mission underway to build what is now a place that has attracted 75 million people to this park."

Here's how the High Line is celebrating:

People enjoy a summer afternoon along the High Line in lower Manhattan on August 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the High Line will host its largest salsa party from 6 to 9 p.m.

1,300 people are expected to salsa on the High Line for "¡Arriba!" Special guests include DJ Mickey Pérez, Las Mariquitas and Fuákata. 

The High Line will also have small mom-and-pop vendors.

"We have vendors all across the High Line that are selling food at a price point that every New York City family can afford," Capelle.

For more information about "¡Arriba!," click here.