The Vessel, the monumental New York sculpture that closed earlier this year after several people committed suicide by throwing themselves from the top of the structure, will welcome visitors again this Friday, but now everyone will have to be accompanied, and the presence of security guards will be three times greater.
“The Vessel, a complex spiral staircase made up of more than 2,500 steps more than 45 meters high, announced its temporary closure last January, one day after a 21-year-old man committed suicide at the site, the third person to jump from the structure in less than a year.
Considered one of New York’s newest tourist attractions, “The Vessel” will be accessible only to couples and groups, and visitors will be closely monitored by guards who have been specially trained to detect behavior that might indicate that a person is considering self-harm.
Messages to try to prevent suicides will beon signs on the sculpture and on admission tickets, which were previously free and will now be priced at $10.
“‘The Vessel’ is extraordinary because of the people who visit, and because of experiencing it with others. Each of you matters to us, just as you matter to so many others,” reads the text on the tickets.
Related Companies, the company responsible for the Hudson Yards development where the sculpture is located, has refused to increase the height of the barriers flanking the flights of stairs and connecting walkways, as a report had recommended.
Lowell Kern, the chairman of one of the community boards present in the area, told local media that while they are happy with the changes, they had hoped for greater changes.
“We don’t think this is enough. The only way to prevent future tragedies is to raise the height of the barriers,” he said.
The sculpture, which was unveiled in 2019, cost about $200 million and was presented as one of the centerpieces of Hudson Yards, described as the most expensive private urban development project in U.S. history, which involved an investment of about $25 billion.