Four suicides in a year and a half, The Vessel, a futuristic stair tower in the shape of a honeycomb, has acquired a bad reputation. The designer is now considering closing the New York attraction permanently.
The last victim was mourned last Thursday. A 14-year-old boy ran up the stairs with his sister. Suddenly, however, he jumped down from the eighth floor.
“One of my colleagues told them not to run in The Vessel and to stay with their parents,” said a guard. “After the facts, I saw his parents. The mother cried and was in all states, and the father was left speechless.”
The teenager had struggled with depression in the past and had already had several suicide attempts. Earlier, a 21-year-old Texan, a 24-year-old woman from Brooklyn and a 19-year-old student from New Jersey also used the open structure to take their own lives.
In the past, suicide prevention experts have been called in to prevent such tragedies. Extra guards also arrived, specially trained to recognize alarming signals. In addition, the building was closed for four months after the previous tragedy in January to get everything ready.
“We are devastated by this news and sympathize with the relatives of the victim. There will certainly be a thorough investigation. We thought we had done everything we could to prevent this,” a spokeswoman said.
According to Lowell Kern, the chairman of the neighbourhood organization, the latter is not valid. After all, there was a proposal on the table to raise the glass barriers considerably. “But that didn’t happen, don’t ask me why.”
The Vessel is part of Hudson Yards, a massive new real estate project in Manhattan. The construction of the sixteen floors (with 154 short stairs and 2,500 steps; ed.) cost more than 165 million euros. The prestigious opening took place in March 2019.