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After three suicides, Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel at Hudson Yards closes indefinitely.
After three people jumped to their death from the Vessel in less than a year, Thomas Heatherwick’s stairway to nowhere has been closed until further notice. Related Companies, the developer of Hudson Yards, said that the firm was consulting with suicide prevention experts about how to limit the potential for more suicides at the 150-foot-tall structure. The closure doesn’t bode well for Hudson Yards, which faces an uncertain future as the pandemic’s toll on office work and tourism has left the mega-development deserted for several months. Critics have been raising concerns about the monument’s safety when initial visuals were revealed back in 2016. “As one climbs up the Vessel, the railings stay just above waist height all the way up to the structure’s top,” Audrey Wachs wrote in The Architect’s Newspaper, “but when you build high, folks will jump.”
An abandoned theme park in East Berlin is being transformed into a massive cultural site.
The former Spreepark, an empty amusement park that’s been sitting abandoned in East Berlin since 2002, will soon get a new lease on life. Major work has started on transforming the desolate park into a cultural destination with galleries and space for artists’ residencies after more than $54 million was raised to finance the project. The former park spans 56 riverside acres completely fenced off from the public since old rides, such as a 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel, are sitting in various states of disrepair. The Ferris wheel and its 40 gondolas will be completely dismantled to see if the pieces can be used in the reconstruction, and Grün Berlin, the government-owned company that recently took over the park’s management, has put out an open call for artists and engineers to design an entirely new ride. Grün Berlin managing director Christoph Schmidt says the project aims to “artistically reinterpret the Ferris wheel in line with the overall concept of the Spreepark as a park for art, culture, and nature.” The new park is slated to open piecemeal in 2022 with final completion scheduled for 2026.
Rep. Joaquin Castro wants to bar federal buildings and property from bearing Trump’s name.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) announced that he plans to introduce legislation that bars federal buildings or property from being named after President Trump after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory this past week. “President Trump incited an insurrection that damaged some of our nation’s most significant and sacred federal property. Donald Trump should never become a future generation’s confederate symbol,” he wrote in a Tweet, adding: “He has conducted himself shamelessly, and I think he has done this because he believes it’s the only way, the only chance that he has to win the Republican nomination for president.”