Co.Design takes a closer look at the recently released renderings of the third — and final — phase of the High Line, the perpetually packed (seriously, there's no less than a couple hundred pushy Italian tourists up there at one time) abandoned elevated railway-turned-park on Manhattan's far west side. Due for completion in 2014, the $90 million extension will feature a dedicated kids' play area, "peel-up" benches, tables, see-saws, and planters galore, open gathering spaces, and, of course, knockout views of the Hudson River. Says Lisa Switkin of landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations: “Section three has posed some of the more complex problems. Not only do you have to live up to the success of the first two sections, but also there’s a desire to do something different that’s about the new New York. Sections one and two were partially about responding to the historic Meatpacking District and Chelsea. This is a gesture toward a historic relic, but it’s also moving into the future."

 

Dwell publishes the final installment of "A Zero Energy Community," a series of posts that chart the ups and downs, triumphs and failures of zHome, a deep green townhouse community in Issaquah, Wash. Concludes project manager Brad Liljequist: "We are undergoing a revolution in building performance, driven mainly from a grassroots, local and regional community. It is truly exciting and inspiring. We can change, fundamentally and quickly."

 

The Washington Post gets commenters riled up (1,457 comments and counting) with a post on Philips' prohibitively priced (even by LED standards), L Prize-winning LED bulb. Says Home Depot light bulb merchant Brad Paulsen of the soon-to-be-released $50 bulb that received some serious fund-age from the Department of Energy: “I don’t want to say it’s exorbitant, but if a customer is only looking at the price, they could come to that conclusion. This is a Cadillac product, and that’s why you have a premium on it.”

 

Jetson Green admires Alpine Meadows (AKA the Greenhalgh House), a lovely mountain retreat near Lake Tahoe with a serious (600-square-feet) rooftop solar array.

 

The Los Angeles Times mourns the passing of the man cave. Something to consider after you dry those sad eyes: "The time has come to leave the man cave — to bulldoze the bro bunker, to kick the kegerator to the curb. The safe house for the Y chromosome is no longer safe; the perimeter has been breached. The man cave is no longer a tenable refuge from the real world. The handwriting appeared on the beer-postered wall last year when the phrase 'mom cave' began to spread and 'man cave' joined the list of phrases from our lexicon that are misused, overused and targeted for their general uselessness, much like 'baby bump' and 'the new normal.' But the real blow had to be the news earlier this month that a man cave would be among the amenities at the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show. Yes, the man cave has gone from sacred space to flower-show bait."

 

TreeHugger opens up the polls for the Best Green Readers Choice Awards: Design. Categories include "Cutest Tiny Shed or Building," "Best Prefab or Shipping Container Design," and "Best Furniture Design."

 

The San Francisco Chronicle wrangles up a few Bay Area gardening experts to share some tips and tidbits for the spring planting season.

 

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