The Thomas Heatherwick-designed 15-story Vessel structure has officially been closed indefinitely. Following the third suicide in less than a year, where another individual has taken their life after jumping off the 150-foot art project located in Hudson Yards, suicide-prevention experts and psychiatrists are being brought into the equation in discussing what to with the Vessel.
Long before its opening in 2019, many were already worried about the current situation potentially happening. In 2016, Audrey Wachs, a former associate editor at the Architect’s Newspaper, wrote: “As one climbs up Vessel, the railings stay just above waist height all the way up to the structure’s top, but when you build high, folks will jump.” A Community Board 4 letter from March 2020 was also sent after the first suicide urging the operators to consult with suicide-prevention experts because “the Vessel’s chest-high barrier is all that separates the platform from the edge,” and that “the likelihood of a similar, terribly sad loss of life cannot be ignored.”
There is currently no official statement as to what will happen to the Vessel or if any suicide-prevention measures will be added to the structure as it is considered a piece of art.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
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