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Old Posted Sep 14, 2016, 4:39 PM
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This Monument Could Be Manhattan's Answer to the Eiffel Tower

It was perhaps the greatest mystery in the world of urban design–what exactly was the great monument that Stephen Ross pledged to plant in the gigantic public plaza of the Hudson Yards? For years, it was well known that Ross, founder and chairman of the Related Companies, was auditioning almost a dozen of the world’s top sculptors and designers for the job, a list rumored to include Maya Lin, Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, and Zaha Hadid. And Ross himself was promising a one-of-a-kind spectacular that would dwarf any public monument Manhattan had welcomed in decades, and reign as an irresistible magnet for tourists from around the globe.

At 11:30 a.m. on September 14 (the precise time this story first appeared), Ross unveiled the plans for the project at an extravaganza in at a nearby park attended by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and featuring a dance performance conceived for the occasion by the Alvin Ailey troupe. The drawings and models display something on a scale exceeding, in cost, size and engineering complexity, any public monument furnished by a private developer in modern times.

As it turns out, the work isn’t a sculpture as you might expect, but a towering, bowl-shaped lattice of circular staircases designed by Britain’s Thomas Heatherwick, a specialist in big public installations who created the famous flaming cauldron that symbolized the 2012 London Olympics, and is helping design the reimagined Google campus in Silicon Valley. The structure, named “Vessel” by Heatherwick, fans out from a relatively small base like a Grecian urn, ascending 150 feet or the equivalent of 15 stories, its polished, copper-colored stainless steel skin reflecting the images of the folks strolling in the plaza below. If all goes as planned, it’ll open to the public in late 2018.

It’s not just meant to be ogled, but trod upon. “Vessel” is a sort of a towering jungle gym. Young and old alike will climb 2,500 steps over 154 flights of stairs, connected by 80 landings festooned with benches from which visitors can enjoy Hudson River views. Visitors will walk a full mile when making the round trip from the plaza to the summit and back. The cost, fully paid by the developers: $200 million.

“I wanted to commission something transformational, monumental!” Ross told this reporter during an interview in August, where he provided a preview of “Vessel,” on the condition that the information be embargoed until the September 14 debut. “I wanted something that defines a city like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Saint Louis Gateway Arch. In December, everyone who comes to Manhattan wants to visit the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. This will be the equivalent of the Christmas tree twelve months a year.”

More in the article...
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.

Last edited by NYguy; Sep 14, 2016 at 6:04 PM.
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