New York City’s Sculpture Vessel Closed Indefinitely After 4th Apparent Suicide
The Vessel, a tourist attraction built as a part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, has closed indefinitely after the death of a 14-year-old boy at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The death is believed to have been a suicide, the fourth to occur since the structure’s opening in 2019.
When the Vessel was first unveiled, writer Audrey Wachs added a somber warning in a 2016 article for The Architect’s Newspaper, “As one climbs up Vessel, the railings stay just above waist height all the way up to the structure’s top,” she noted, “but when you build high, folks will jump.”
This is the second time the Vessel has closed as a result of suicide. The first time the firm made the decision to do so was in January, after the structure’s third death. The Vessel reopened in May with increased precautions, including a buddy system and signs posted with mental health resources. However, after this most recent suicide, Stephen Ross, chairman of the affiliated Related Companies, says they may close it for good.
While the cause of death investigation is ongoing, first responders said his injuries were indicative of a fall from a great height.
Kimberly Winston, a spokesperson for Hudson Yards, told People that the Vessel is closed indefinitely. In the same statement, she said, “We are heartbroken by this tragedy and our thoughts are with the family of the young person who lost their life. We are conducting a full investigation.”
Ross told The Daily Beast, “We thought we did everything that would really prevent this. It’s hard to really fathom how something like that could happen. But you know, I feel terrible for the family.”
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The victim had been visiting the installation with four family members.
Lowell Kern, chair of Manhattan Community Board 4, told the same outlet that Related Companies could have opted to raise the railing barriers but “for reasons unknown to us they decided not to do that.”
If you or someone you know are contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.
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