New York: Stairs to Nowhere at Hudson Yards

Vessel is a honeycomb-like network of 2,500 stairs to nowhere in the middle of Hudson Yards.

Move over Lady Liberty! A new public art structure that resembles a giant beehive opened on Friday and it’s already earning a reputation as one of New York’s most Instagrammed tourist attractions.

Vessel – a bronze sculpture that stands 46 metres high with 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings – is the visual centrepiece of Manhattan’s $US25 billion Hudson Yards development.


The 3,200-ton structure – the brain child of British designer Thomas Heatherwick – cost around $US200 million to build.

The 87 carbon steel pieces that make up the structure were made in Monfalcone, Italy,  then shipped to Newark, where they were loaded on a barge and pushed up the Hudson River.


Nestled alongside the High Line, with almost a mile of vertical climb (there is also a lift), visitors to the top are rewarded with views up the Hudson River and Manhattan’s west side.

Admission is free and the structure can accommodate 600 visitors at a time. (Try to book a timed ticket in advance to avoid having to wait to climb.)

While Hudson Yards covers 30th Street to 42nd Street, most of the attention has been on the future neighbourhood that will span from 30th Street to 34th Street between 10th Avenue and the West Side Highway.

When it is completed in 2024, the 11-hectare Hudson Yards site will include 16 towers of homes and offices, a hotel, a school and a shopping mall, making it the biggest private real estate development in New York since the Rockefeller Center was built.

The first skyscraper, 10 Hudson Yards, opens in early 2020. The neighbourhood will also receive a boost with the addition of The Edge, a glass-floored observation deck perched 335 metres above ground level (artist’s impression above).

When it opens, The Edge will be the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere.

The Shed.jpeg

Also on-site is The Shed (pictured above), a colossal arts centre on wheels. Its shell can be moved to reconfigure the space as required for dance, opera, drama, visual art and music.

And if there was any doubt that Hudson Yards was set to become New York’s most expensive neighbourhood, consider this: two penthouses at 35 Hudson Yards (above) – the tallest tower in the mega-project – are asking $US59 million each.

Note: Vessel is closed to the public indefinitely.

Blog updated October 22, 2019.
© 2019 Bernard O’Riordan (Travel Instinct). All Rights Reserved


Hudson Yards

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