As first reported by the New York Post, a person jumped to their death yesterday morning from the top of the Vessel, Heatherwick Studio’s monumental climbable sculpture-slash-tourist attraction anchoring Hudson Yards on the far west side of Manhattan.
The incident marks the second suicide to occur at the Vessel since it opened to the public in March 2019. The first was in February of this year when a teenager from New Jersey also jumped from the sculpture. Yesterday’s tragic event involved a woman in her 20s, who took her life just before 11:45 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. Her identity has not been released.
AN has reached out to Related Companies, the developer of Hudson Yards, for comment. We will update this story accordingly.
Like other public attractions at the $25 billion Hudson Yards development, the 150-foot-tall Vessel was shuttered on March 17 as the coronavirus pandemic began to rapidly spread across New York City and has since reopened with a variety of health and safety protocols in place including reduced capacity within the sculpture itself and its elevators, increased cleaning, a flexible ticketing policy, and a “one-way travel system” up and down the attraction’s 80 landings and 2,500 steps meant to minimize contact between guests, who are also required to wear face coverings. Another major attraction at Hudson Yards, the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed Edge observation deck, was also temporarily closed to the public on March 12 (an action taken almost immediately following its grand opening, which was attended by AN) and has reopened with a number of precautions in place to keep visitors safe and limit the spread of the virus.
Heatherwick’s impossible-to-miss $150 million Hudson Yards centerpiece garnered a decidedly lukewarm reaction from many critics when it first debuted yet remains wildly popular with visitors visiting the skyscraper-studded development and its shopping mall and the nearby High Line. At the time of the first such death in February, questions were raised over whether the waist-high barriers, intended to frame sweeping views of the surrounding city, sacrificed safety for aesthetics. At the time of writing, it’s unclear if additional barriers will be added to prevent future such incidents.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 800-273-8255.