Is Hudson Yards Open to Public?
Hudson Yards opened in 2019 to great fanfare — a massive development of condos, office space and upscale retailers on a platform built over the west side rail yards. But now, a year into the pandemic, many stores are shuttering.
Is the newest neighborhood open to the public? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting.
There’s no question that The Vessel is the eye-catching centerpiece of Hudson Yards. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, this spiral staircase-turned-soaring new landmark was intended to be a destination for people to experience the city from different angles, heights, and vantage points. This monumental interactive design is made up of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs and boasts over 2,500 steps and 80 landings.
Unfortunately, the suicide epidemic and mental health crisis have forced The Vessel to be closed until further notice. The company has tried to mitigate the issue by installing plexiglass shields and extending viewing platforms, but it’s an uphill battle.
Luckily, the Public Square and Gardens that surround The Vessel are still open to the public. Take a load off and take a breather at one of the many benches in this city park built over rail yards and jet engines. This is a park that’s not just for shopping and sightseeing; it’s a place to relax.
The Shops at Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards, located on Manhattan’s wild west side in an area that was once a train yard, is comprised of polished residential towers, office skyscrapers and a sleek mall filled with upscale shops and restaurants. The complex’s crowning achievement is Vessel, an intricately interlocking spiral staircase that beckons visitors to ascend for new views of the city and its neighborhood from a variety of heights and angles.
Though the development is anchored by Dallas-based department store chain Neiman Marcus, the retail space also aims to appeal to shoppers on both the high and low end, with H&M and Zara sitting alongside Chanel, Dior, and Fendi. In addition, there is an entire section dedicated to brands that were born on the internet like men’s athleisure brand Rhone and shoemaker M.Gemi.
There is plenty to see and do at Hudson Yards, which is open to the public for free. Despite the fact that Vessel remains temporarily closed, it’s worth visiting just to check out the spectacular building.
The Public Square & Gardens
Despite its hefty price tag ($25 billion, including billions in taxpayer subsidies) and some withering criticism that it’s an enclave for the wealthy, Hudson Yards is open to almost everyone. Its residents and visitors can shop, dine, see a performance or film, stroll through gardens and art installations, visit the Public Square, and even climb the Vessel, the showpiece at the heart of the project.
The Public Square is the gathering place of the neighborhood, where public life colorfully plays out. Here, the meandering quality of the High Line and the linear nature of Hudson River Park are artfully captured to seamlessly flow into a new urban plaza.
The soaring buildings of Hudson Yards are now home to companies from across the country, including Boies, Schiller & Flexner; Engineers Gate; L’Oreal USA; Milbank LLP; Point72 Asset Management; Silver Lake; Third Point LLC; and many others. The site’s extensive walking path is also popular with residents and visitors.
Hudson Yards Park
It’s not often that one gets to witness a neighborhood being built from the ground up – and this is exactly what is happening on Manhattan’s west side at Hudson Yards. A gleaming new district of skyscrapers, apartments, high-end retail shops and parks is taking shape in the former West Side rail yards.
The newest addition to Hudson Yards is the Public Square, a modern park that is unlike any other in NYC. Designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, the park features jet engines, super chilled roots, smart soil and advanced irrigation to provide a lush environment for visitors.
The Public Square is open to the public, and you can walk around the area to enjoy the views of the city and check out the various attractions in Hudson Yards. You can also take advantage of free docent-led tours of the area on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from May to October and November to April.