The Hudson Yards development in downtown Manhattan is facing calls to dismantle the Vessel, its massive sculptural centerpiece, after a fourth person in less than two years jumped from the 150-foot structure.
A 14-year-old boy was the last fatality, Thursday. His death came two months after the stairs were reopened after two suicides earlier this year, with a series of measures aimed at reducing that risk.
The Vessel has been controversial. When it opened in 2019, one reviewer compared the honeycomb structure, designed by Britain’s Thomas Heatherwick, to a huge kebab. Some locals called it a “stairway to nowhere”.
This week the Braking website said simply: “It is time to dismantle the ship.”
Entrance to the structure was initially free, but after a third suicide, Related Companies, the company that controls Hudson’s yards, imposed a $ 10 entrance fee and a rule requiring visitors not to climb the structure alone. .
“That only made the horror worse, because the boy who jumped yesterday did so in front of his family,” Curbed reported this week. Despite the vessel popularity on Instagram, the site said, it has become “largely famous as a place of death.”
The first suicide on the Vessel occurred in February of last year. It was closed in January after two people committed suicide in the space of a month. It reopened in May.
The operating company did not raise its barriers to the chest before reopening, as requested by community leaders and suicide prevention researchers.
Lowell Kern, chairman of Community Board 4, a local government body, told the New York Times that he called for such design changes after the first suicide.
“I am very sad,” he said. “This was completely preventable.”
Kern added: “The community board has informed Related that the only sure way to prevent this from happening is to raise the height of the barriers on the Vessel. We are dealing with matters of life and death. Art and architecture have to take a back seat “.
Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross said the daily beast the facility could be shut down permanently.
“I want to see all the possibilities we can do,” Ross said. “I mean, we thought we had it all covered.”
A Hudson Yards spokeswoman said an investigation was underway.
“We are heartbroken by this tragedy and our thoughts are with the family of the young man who lost his life,” the spokeswoman said.
Heatherwick Study He said he was “distraught” and told the Times he had explored ideas to improve security. Those ideas “required more rigorous testing,” he said, adding that he had yet to decide what would be “feasible in terms of engineering and installation.”
In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, Samaritans can be reached on 116 123. In Australia, the Lifeline crisis support service is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism