What to Know
- Platform lift mechanism will be installed on the upper levels of the Vessel to increase accessibility for individuals with disabilities, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced Monday
- Related Companies L.P. and ERY Vessel LLC have agreed to install the one-of-a-kind platform lift mechanism
- Prosecutors contend that the Vessel, a multi-story, open air structure composed of 80 platforms connected by stairways, is inaccessible to individuals with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
A one-of-a-kind platform lift mechanism will be installed on the upper levels of the Vessel, a new public attraction in Hudson Yards, to increase accessibility for individuals with disabilities, prosecutors announced Monday.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman and Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband, announced today that Related Companies L.P. and ERY Vessel LLC have agreed to install the platform lift mechanism.
Under the agreement, Related has agreed to design, construct, install, and operate the mechanism that will allow individuals with disabilities to traverse the stairways and platforms at the top levels of the Vessel in order to to enjoy 360-degree views. According to Berman, this mechanism will provide access to the most traveled areas of the Vessel that are currently inaccessible to individuals with disabilities.
Prosecutors contend that the Vessel, a multi-story, open air structure composed of 80 platforms connected by stairways, is inaccessible to individuals with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The Vessel’s current design allows individuals with disabilities to access at most only three 3 of the 80 platforms, all on one side of the structure since the sole elevator reaches three platforms and visitors must otherwise traverse stairs to move among the platforms.
According to prosecutors, due to the high demand for the elevator, Related has at times directed that the elevator bypass the platforms at levels 5 and 7 -- rendering only one platform at level 8 accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The agreement also requires Related to ensure that the elevator stops at levels 5 and 7 upon request, to operate the elevator on a pre-set, timed schedule and to modify the Vessel’s ticketing reservation options to allow individuals with disabilities to reserve priority access to the elevator, according to prosecutors.
“We are pleased that Related has designed an innovative solution to increase accessibility to the Vessel. Related has agreed to commit substantial resources to install a platform lift that will allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy 360-degree views from the Vessel’s top level,” Berman said in a statement.
Sharing similar sentiments, Dreiband said: “As we approach the ADA’s 30th Anniversary, it is vital that individuals with disabilities have access to major new tourist attractions in our cities. I am pleased that Related is taking steps to increase accessibility of the Vessel.”
A spokesperson for Hudson Yards said that they are "committed" to letting the Vessel be accessible to all.
"Hudson Yards is committed to accessibility for everyone, and from the very beginning, we have been collaborating with disability advocates to ensure access across all experiences. At Vessel, we opened with an elevator enabling all visitors to enjoy multiple levels, including the summit, and are pleased to expand on that with additional lifts that will traverse the top levels further maximizing the experience of this one-of-a-kind sculptural attraction for people with disabilities," the spokesperson said.