Vessel at Hudson Yards to reopen this year

The climbable structure at the center of Hudson Yards will reopen later this year. Vessel, an interactive public artwork, first opened in 2019 along with the mega-development but closed in 2021 after several people died by suicide there. Three years later, the structure will reopen to the public but with new barriers in place, as CBS New York first reported.

Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, Vessel is a bronzed steel-and-concrete sculpture with 154 interconnected flights of stairs and 2,500 individual steps. When it opened in 2019, visitors could climb the honeycomb-shaped structure for free, with a reservation.

The first suicide at Vessel was reported in February 2020 when a 19-year-old from New Jersey jumped from the structure. Following two more deaths, developer Related Companies temporarily closed the structure and consulted psychiatrists and suicide-prevention experts to develop a plan to prevent any future tragedies.

Instead of installing barriers, Related introduced new protocols when it opened again, including prohibiting solo visitors, adding more staff, and charging $10. After a fourth death in July 2021, the structure and the surrounding plaza closed again.

When it reopens this year, Vessel will feature a floor-to-ceiling steel mesh barrier on several levels.

According to CBS New York, “half of the structure will have barriers placed on four of Vessel’s stairwells and adjoining platforms” and the first two levels will be fully open. The very top will remain closed as the mesh cannot be installed on this level.

“Through a closely coordinated effort with Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, we have developed a plan to install floor-to-ceiling steel mesh on Vessel while also preserving the unique experience that has drawn millions of visitors from around the globe,” a spokesperson for Hudson Yards told CBS.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit


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