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The Vessel will reopen for Memorial Day weekend, with one of the suicide prevention measures being to bar single people from visiting alone. The 150-foot sculpture at Hudson Yards was closed in January after the third suicide in less than a year.

The Vessel at Hudson Yards at sunset. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

The Executive Board of Manhattan Community Board 4 (MCB4) reiterated at their meeting on Monday evening that the only way to prevent further suicides at The Vessel is by installing barriers.

Yesterday, Related Properties (the owner of Hudson Yards) delivered a new plan to MCB4 that included:

  • All tickets for visits need to be bought online beforehand
  • Tripling the security staff, extra training and new protocols
  • Partnering with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation on a “Please Stay” initiative
  • Only groups of 2 or more will be allowed to book/visit

The immediate reaction from MCB4 was Related had ignored the community’s position that The Vessel could not reopen without higher barriers. Lowell Kern, the Board chair, wrote in January after the closure that “because the Vessel’s chest-high barrier is all that separates the platform from the edge, the likelihood of a similar, terribly sad loss of life cannot be ignored.”

The Vessel at Hudson Yards. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

Board member Christine Berthet said yesterday that the idea that singles could not visit The Vessel was clear “discrimination” — Kern questioned (in a light-hearted quip) “what does that do for Romeo and Juliet?”

“Related made a $120 million mistake, resulting in three deaths. They’ve hired a bunch of fancy consultants to give a whole bunch of window dressing. What’s that going to stop?” said Joe Restuccia, a board member. “The only thing that will stop this is barriers. No if, ands, or buts.”

Kern said that Related had cited “technical problems” including west side wind for not installing barriers.

Related had not responded to our request for more information at the time of publication. Currently, The Vessel is not accepting bookings for Memorial Day weekend. We will update this story.

UPDATE 5/26/2021 8:30am: The New York Post is reporting that The Vessel “for the first time, previously free-all-day tickets will be $10 for visitors above 5 years old after the first hour of each day’s opening times. The $10 price will go “directly” toward covering the safety enhancements. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at noon.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

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7 Comments

  1. That seems highly discriminatory. If I want to do something alone, that means I’m suicidal? Come on, that’s absurd.

  2. The Vessel is also incredibly inaccessible to people with disabilities. Even with a priority pass, I couldn’t go up as the wait for the elevator was one hour due to its tiny capacity and how slow it climbs. A $120 million mistake is right.

  3. Beyond absurd! As a resident of HK and single, I am now not allowed to visit the vessel. Typical and CB4 let this happen?

  4. The Vessel was supposed to rival The Eiffel Tower…really!!? I don’t think so. And to add insult to injury, Hudson yards has blocked the view of our Eiffel Tower, The Empire State Building.
    Shame on Related! Your depressing prefabricated glass towers, will never match the beauty and splendor of the Empire State building, or the Chrysler building, or the hundreds of buildings built by craftsmen (and women) with natural elements like stone and brick. I’d rather look at a tenement than Hudson Yards which is as depressing as the February sky, in fact I’ve seen Hudson yards blend right in with the gray skies of winter. KB

  5. Just because I’m single I have to now find someone to do certain things with this is discrimination and now they’re going to start to charge unbelievable Chase more people away

  6. Not only is this discriminatory against singles, it also takes the responsibility off the Vessel owners and puts it squarely on the shoulders of the public. You are responsible for the safety of the people you’re with; Vessel owners do not have to make any changes in the structure to ensure anyone’s safety.

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