The New York-based World Monuments Fund announced yesterday, 2 June, that Joshua David, the co-founder of New York’s High Line—a major urban regeneration project that has inspired similar initiatives in places such as Paris and Philadelphia—will succeed Bonnie Burnham as president of the non-profit heritage preservation organisation. Burnham is to retire in November after 30 years in the post.
David, along with Robert Hammond, is responsible for transforming a disused elevated rail line in Manhattan’s West Side into a much-loved urban park with an active arts programme. Each year more than six million people visit the park, which opened in 2009 after a decade of planning. David announced in late January that he was stepping down as president of the Friends of the High Line. In a letter posted on the High Line’s website at the time, he wrote that he would remain on the board, but that he knew it was time “to start on a new path” after the High Line opened its northernmost section at Rail Yards in 2014.
“Josh’s ability to marry collaborative restoration with community engagement makes him an excellent choice to lead World Monuments Fund into the 21st century,” says Burnham, adding that the board “unanimously agreed that he was the right leader to steward World Monuments Fund as we begin our next 50 years”.
On taking up his new post, David says: “It’s critical that we continue [the fund’s] vital work to preserve and steward sites of architectural, artistic, and cultural significance around the world. These sites connect us to our past and inspire us to build a better future.”