The High Line's Terrifying New Art Commission

Do you love the High Line but wish it had a more palpable element of danger? Artist and balloon animal enthusiast Jeff Koons is here to help.

The New York Times' City Room blog reports that Koons is in talks with Friends of the High Line, the conservancy group charged with managing the park, to bring one of his sculptures to the converted greenway.

What sculpture would that be?

A full-sized replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive (a "Train," in the parlance of the piece's title), dangling ominously over the walkway from a crane.

The sculpture, which has yet to be constructed, would be made of steel and carbon fiber. Like a non-art train, it would weigh several tons, and occasionally spin its wheels, blow a horn and emit steam. Unlike a non-art train, it would cost a conservatively estimated $25 million to create and install.

Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond said he was hopeful that a donor would step forward to cover the entire cost. Meanwhile, everyone in the room suddenly became very interested in looking at the ceiling.

(According to the Times, Barry Diller and his wife Diane von Furstenburg have already given a combined $35 million to the High Line, so Hammond might want to hit them up first. Or last.)

Koons released the following statement summarizing the proposed project:

"The power and the dynamic of the ‘Train' represents the ephemeral energy that runs through the city every day."

"Train" could also be said to represent a "train," the likes of which chugged along the High Line for decades before it fell out of use and became a rich person's park.

[Image by James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Jeff Koons. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line]