Oh No, the Hudson Yards “Vessel” Is Reopening

Here’s some news we were all hoping wouldn’t be on our 2024 Bingo card: After a three-year hiatus, the “Vessel” in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards is reopening. Related Companies, the owner of the $260 million honeycomb-shaped tourist attraction, announced on Friday, April 12, that the heavily criticized structure will be accessible to the public at some point this year with increased safety provisions to address the series of suicides that initially led to its 2021 closure.

While no opening date has been confirmed yet, a spokesperson for Related Companies told the New York Times that changes in the spiral complex’s safety mechanisms will consist of cut-resistant “floor-to-ceiling steel mesh” installed on about half of its accessible area, in addition to barriers on four stairwells and adjacent landings. The first two levels of the 150-foot-tall beehive building will be completely open whereas the top area will remain closed. 

Hyperallergic has reached out to Related Companies for more information.

Created by designer Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, the Vessel has been the subject of intense scrutiny since its opening in 2019, spanning its questionable funding sources, inaccessibility for individuals with physical disabilities, and alleged lack of safety measures.

By January 2021, three people had jumped to their deaths from the structure, forcing Related Companies to temporarily close the site while it implemented new safety measures such as requiring visitors to enter with at least one companion and changing its free admission policy to a cost of $10 a ticket. Ignoring community calls to raise the height of the structure’s guard rails, the developers reopened the attraction in March 2021, only to close it again in late July following a fourth death by suicide.

“While we think it took Related four lives too many to make these physical adjustments, these are the changes we requested, which will allow for prioritizing the safety of everyone who visits the Vessel,” Manhattan community board chair Jessica Chait told the Associated Press.

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