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NYC’s Vessel Closed Indefinitely After Fourth Suicide

The Thomas Heatherwick-designed Vessel; photo courtesy of Liberty Elevator

Just two months after it reopened with changes aimed at suicide prevention, the Thomas Heatherwick-designed interactive art piece Vessel in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards is closed again, “indefinitely,” after a fourth person — a 14-year-old boy — jumped to his death from the structure at around noon on July 29, The New York Times is among outlets to report. Previously, three people had jumped to their deaths within 15 months, and Vessel closed in January after the third — a 21-year-old man — jumped. Outfitted with a 150-ft-tall climbable staircase and an elevator designed by Liberty Elevators with Cimolai of Italy that was an ELEVATOR WORLD 2020 Project of the Year winner, the structure has waist-high barriers. Some community members and suicide-prevention researchers called for taller barriers, such as the 11-ft-high fence that has decreased suicides and suicide attempts at the George Washington Bridge since it was installed in 2017. Vessel developer Related Cos. consulted “for months” with suicide-prevention and security experts and local elected officials after the initial closure, and implemented anti-suicide signage and disallowed visitors from entering alone. 

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