A New York City tourist attraction has been closed until further notice amid concerns that the towering structure is becoming a suicide hotspot. A 21-year-old man from Texas jumped to his death Tuesday from the "Vessel," a 150-foot network of connected staircases, becoming the third person to die by suicide at the site in less than a year, NBC New York reports. A 24-year-old Brooklyn woman jumped from the top of the structure on Dec. 22. In February a 19-year-old man from New Jersey became the first person to die by suicide at the site, which is the centerpiece of the Hudson Yard redevelopment in Manhattan. It opened to the public in March 2019.
Lowell Kern, chairman of the local community board, says developer Related Companies has promised to take steps to prevent suicides before reopening the structure. "Because the Vessel’s chest-high barrier is all that separates the platform from the edge, the likelihood of a similar, terribly sad loss of life cannot be ignored," Kern wrote to the developer after the first suicide last year. Kern tells the New York Times that the barrier should be higher, despite concerns about altering a work of art. "After three suicides, at what point does the artistic vision take a back seat to safety?" he says. Sources tell the New York Post that Franklin Washington, the man who took his own life Monday, is suspected of stabbing his mother to death in San Antonio. (Read more New York City stories.)