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High Line Receives Record $20 Million From Diller-von-Furstenberg Foundation (PHOTOS)

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DILLER VON FURSTENBERG
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Mayor Bloomberg announced the High Line would be receiving a record $20 million gift from the Diller-von-Furstenberg Family Foundation. The generous donation would help the popular park, which sees three million annual visitors, finish the remaining section of the High Line and also boost its endowment.

The philanthropic foundation is led by Barry Diller, the chairman of both IAC and Expedia, and his fashion designer wife Diane von-Furstenberg.

News of the donation, which is the single largest ever made to a city park, was made on Wednesday evening. Diller said in a statement:

In a hundred years, people will be amazed that this park was ever built, and during all that time it will have given pleasure to such great numbers of people. I’m glad that our family is able to pay a small role in making the High Line a reality.

The once dilapidated railway first opened in June of 2009 and since then has been immensely popular with both New Yorkers and tourists alike. The High Line has also proven to be a major economic achievement having generated $2 billion in private investments. The Meatpacking District, where the park is located, has also benefitted from the park's success which has produced 12,000 new jobs, including 8,000 construction jobs.

Furstenberg owns a studio directly adjacent to the the park and has been a major advocate. An early supporter, Furstenberg told the Sundance Channel in 2009, "So many people fell in love with the project and worked for it, until somehow we seduced everybody. It was just a dream, and they made the dream come true."

Admirers are seeking to emulate the High Line's popularity in the Lower East Side with Delancey Underground which plans to transform an abandoned railway into a green space, the main difference being the community park would be underground.