The Vessel is a $200 million structure in Hudson Yards with a troubled history, uncertain future and a starting spot for those looking to walk on the High Line.
Before you go to the Vessel, it’s important to know what to ‘expect’ when you’re there.
The actual experience that was planned when the attraction opened in 2019 has been unavailable since 2021, as the Vessel has been ‘indefinitely closed to the public’ due to a number of suicides.
Real talk: the experience itself is still a stop for many tour groups, in which they bring a large group of tourists into the centre of the structure and look up. You can’t do anything else, as every walkway is closed.
When we were thinking about how to put this article together, the idea was that we should share what we experienced and how we were able to put The Vessel into a larger plan for the day.
When we made the initial decision to visit Hudson Yards, we prioritized The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards and the surrounding area. The shopping centre has over 1,000,000 square feet of total retail area and has a number of interesting luxury stores and has the highlight of a Dylan’s Candy Bar.
Check out Miznon, Shake Shack, and the gift shop for The Edge before heading over to The High Line. We ended up at Starbucks, but it was only because the lines for some of the more “local” caffeine options were incredibly long.
Fun Facts about The Vessel
Unique Design: Inspired by Indian stepwells, the Vessel’s intricate honeycomb structure consists of a staggering 2,500 steps, 154 flights, and 80 landings, spanning 16 stories.
Temporary Name: The abbreviation TKA in Vessel (TKA) stands for “Temporarily Known As.” Although it was meant to have a permanent name after construction, the name “Vessel” has stuck around.
A Mile of Climbing: If you were to climb every staircase in the Vessel, you’d traverse over a mile in distance.
Italian Craftsmanship: The pieces of the Vessel were constructed in the Italian comune of Monfalcone and then shipped across the ocean to New York City for assembly.
Green Oasis: Surrounding the Vessel is the Hudson Yards Public Square, which boasts a collection of 28,000 plants and 225 trees.
Budget Upsize: Initially projected to cost $75 million, the final price tag for the Vessel skyrocketed to around $200 million due to the intricacies of its steel construction.
Photo Policies: At its opening, Hudson Yards claimed ownership of all photos taken of the Vessel. Due to public pushback, this policy was later modified to allow visitors to retain ownership of their photos. This wasn’t a good way to start the community integration;)
Mixed Reviews: While some have compared the Vessel to iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower, others have critiqued its design. Regardless, it’s undeniable that the Vessel has made a significant mark on NYC’s skyline.
Remember, if you’re planning to visit, the Vessel’s history is interwoven with both awe-inspiring architecture and significant concerns about safety.
Enjoy the views and the interesting angles for photography and then continue your day with a trek to The High Line and on to Chelsea Market for a great lunch and even more local exploration.