The Vessel, the dark suicide story behind New York’s new icon

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New York is a city that offers both tourism and its residents all the time new attractions and The Vessel is one of them. It is a construction located in the heart of Manhattan, which opened to the public in March 2019. However, this picturesque 16-story viewpoint was the scene of several tragedies: four people committed suicide there, the last of which was a few days ago and this forced to close the place temporarily.

The latest victim was a 14-year-old adolescent who had gone to the scene accompanied by his family and died when he was thrown from the building. “We are heartbroken by this tragedy and we accompany their family members in their feelings. We are conducting a full investigation. Vessel is currently closed“Said Kimberly Winston, the spokeswoman for real estate developer Hudson Yards, in charge of the site.

The episode was recorded despite the new security measures imposed by the managers of the place, since The Vessel it remained closed from January to May of this year also due to a suicide and this forced the experts to consult what they could do to avoid these events.

Since its reopening, it was established that visitors could only enter if they were accompanied by another person. What’s more, the presence of security guards tripled trained to detect behavior that may indicate that a person is considering suicide and posters were posted on mental health resources.

But this was not enough and in fact those responsible for the viewpoint were questioned, since they had been recommended to place higher barriers to make the structure a safer space. Something similar to what they did on the Golden Gate Bridge in California and the George Washington – which connects New York with New Jersey – where networks were used to try to prevent tragedies in high-level structures.

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From Heatherwick Studio, in charge of his design for The Vessel, they stated that they work with Related Companies, the real estate firm led by billionaire Stephen M. Ross, to find “physical” solutions to the problem. “The team is extensively exploring something that is feasible in terms of engineering and installation“, They indicated according to the CNN. In this way they seek to reopen it to the public.

Beyond the solutions that are studied, Jacob Alspector, a distinguished professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York, warned that Vessel’s main problem is design and location of the structure surrounded by concrete and glass skyscrapers.

“It’s like a nightmare image. Not a friendly, life-affirming structure. It’s a bit cold, stiff. What is the goal of entering it? Just walk up and down? ”He assured.

Incidents recorded at The Vessel

Since it was inaugurated, four people have committed suicide at the site. The first of them was a 19-year-old young man who on February 1, 2020 jumped from the sixth floor of the structure, was seriously injured and died when he was transferred to the hospital.

Almost 11 months later, on December 22, a 24-year-old woman jumped from the top of the structure and also passed away. The third case occurred on January 11, 2021 and the victim was a 21-year-old young man.

Now, with the recent death of the 14-year-old teenager, on July 29 the place closed to the public again.

Features of The Vessel

The Vessel was inaugurated on March 15, 2019 and was in charge of the English designer Thomas Heatherwick. The value of the construction reached 200 million dollars and was presented as one of the centerpieces of the largest private urban project in the history of United States.

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The structure has 16 floors and 154 flights of stairs, in addition to 80 platforms for visitors to enjoy views of New York and the nearby Hudson River.

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