In the midst of an ongoing worldwide crisis, the Big Apple chose to stage a gala opening for something new in a city that’s always on the edge so to say! Previously I have written about a different part of the area concerned which is Hudson Yards and that was about The Vessel. This time its about The Edge – the highest outdoor sky deck in the western hemisphere – and yes its a giant platform that sticks right out from the top of the skyscraper of the same name.
The Edge with the Hudson River – and Statue of Liberty in the distance. Source: Twitter
Whilst Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel opened to great fanfare last year and involves an ascent of some height to reveal a new perspective on New York’s skyline, this one soars almost a thousand feet higher in that never ending quest for the ultimate skyline view! That’s a hundred floors up! Of course both The Vessel and The Edge cant really be compared because each offers a totally different experience.
I covered the Vessel because its British – and designed by no other than Thomas Heatherwick. At the same time as this was being built and I was writing my reviews on it, I too was aware of The Edge – and its something that’s is designed ‘to take visitors out of their comfort zone.’
The Edge’s opening day. March 11th 2020.
The Edge opened just over a week ago. The day was heralded with events including bands and an aerial acrobatic display. The sky deck even has a glass floor thus people can stand, sit, lay down, suspended more than a thousand feet above New York’s streets. The angled glass walls and the glass floors are two inches thick!
Dramatic view of The Edge with its dizzying glass floor visible. Source: Rome Sentinel
The Edge at 30 Hudson Yards has long been anticipated, and was the latest in a long line of super high observation view points – mostly consisting of glass floors but also super high glass bridges suspended from one side of a precipitous valley to the other or slung in such a way upon a mountainside that people could stand suspended in the air over a huge drop thousands of feet below.
I had originally envisaged a feature covering the best highlights of these lofty glass observation decks, but concluded a write up on The Edge would be most sufficient for the moment.
Great view of the new skydeck (and its glass floor) from the Skyline Steps. One World Trade Centre is prominent in the distance. Source: Evening Standard
The lifts (elevators in US parlance) that ascend the building to the skydeck are an example of those latest kinds of lifts – with visual or interactive screens all around its sides for the visitors to enjoy, taking on the examples after the Burj, the Freedom Tower (One World Trade Centre) and The Shard.
The large sky lobby as one alights from the lifts (elevators.) Source You Tube/Action Kid
On the ascent the visual screens show the progress of construction of 30 Hudson Yards, and ends with the project completed as one reaches the top floor! Ironically on the descent from The Edge the large visual screens instead take one on an aerial of the locality (including the High Line) and when one reaches ground floor, the screens at that stage have ended up by the entrance to the Vessel! A great hint if ever there was one!
The Edge’s glass deck. 100 floors drop behind the glass! Source: Related Oxford
The very edge – of The Edge! Actually this is the smaller pointy bit on the other side of the skydeck. One World Trade Centre and Statute of Liberty are visible in the distance. Source: Twitter
Like a lot of public venues, museums and spaces these days, The Edge was in fact too good to last. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic saw the city’s governor issue a decree ordering places where large numbers of people gathered to be closed. From 13 March The Edge – open for just two days – had to close.
As a matter of fact the same week I was writing this post the Vessel itself too had to close – just a couple of days after The Edge – almost exactly a year after it and Hudson Yards had opened to great fanfare.
View of the terraced section at The Edge – known as the Skyline Steps. In the distance is the slender skyscraper called Central Park Tower – the world’s tallest residential building. Source: Google Streets
In fact as soon as the Vessel had opened in March 2019, the media then began turning its attention towards the next hottest thing at Hudson yards – The Edge! Previews and photographs of the partially built skydeck became awash in the media.
The Edge as seen from the Statue of Liberty. The distance is 5 miles (8 km.) Source: Weather Channel
The Edge is on Manhattan’s west side and that gives it an added bonus. Most of the high viewpoints of the city are elsewhere, such as the Empire State to the south east, One World Trade Centre in the south west, and so on.
Clearly The Edge gives some of the best perspectives on the city because this is central New York – there’s Central Park, Broadway, the Empire State Building and other famous parts of the city and the views take in a huge part of Manhattan and there are good views to New Jersey, Long Island and beyond. Even the Statue of Liberty is well in view of The Edge – its straight down the Hudson River!
Spectacular red sky seen from The Edge on its preview day 10th March 2020. Source: Twitter
There is a restaurant called The Peak and it opened the day after The Edge. Its said one cannot access The Peak directly by way of the public sky deck but rather one has to do that from the fifth floor at 30 Hudson Yards where there is a bar called the Peak Lounge. From there an express elevator takes one to The Peak.
The web page for The Peak restaurant. Link.
There is a souvenir shop, its quite large as far as this sort of thing goes. Its known as Beyond the Edge. Source: You Tube/Action Kid
Here are some other pictures of The Edge which were released around the time of The Vessel’s opening – or earlier – mostly of its construction.
Design rendering of The Edge presented from March 2019. The actual finished deck is somewhat different – especially the Skyline Steps. Source: Twitter
Workers at the very top of 30 Hudson Yards after the basic superstructure had been completed in 2018. The building rises to a height of 1218 feet. The perspective looks towards Central Park. Source: Twitter
Craning part of the sky deck’s pointy bit into position. Source: 6sqft
The Skyline Steps under construction. Source: NY Curbed
A general view of Hudson Yards as seen from the Empire State Building in 2018. In the background is Lincoln Harbour and Hoboken, New Jersey. The Vessel is in the narrow gap at the bottom of the skyscrapers. Source: Wikipedia
The unfinished Edge skydeck in late 2019. Source: Twitter