Construction Begins on Observation Deck at 30 Hudson Yards

The Hudson Yards Observation Deck journeyed down the Hudson River via barge. | Photo courtesy of Timothy Schenck

BY WINNIE McCROY | Earlier this month, the framework for the massive Observation Deck at Hudson Yards made its way up the Hudson River by barge, to be bolted together 1,000 feet above the city in what will become the highest such deck in the Western Hemisphere, and the fifth highest in the world.

“Seeing Hudson Yards reshape the Manhattan skyline has been exciting to us and our partners,” said Blake Hutcheson, Chair, Oxford Properties Group. “Now, with the construction of the observation deck, residents and visitors alike can be a part of the skyline. We’re excited to see New York from such great heights, through the eyes of Hudson Yards.”

It will all happen at 30 Hudson Yards, the 2.6M-square-foot tower at the southwest corner of 33rd St. and 10th Ave., designed by Bill Pederson of Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF). When completed in late 2019, the building will stand 1,296 feet tall,l and offer state-of-the-art commercial office space for tenants — including DNB Bank, Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (KKR), Time Warner Inc., and Wells Fargo, as well as office space for Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group.

The LEED Gold-designed 30 Hudson Yards will be the second-tallest building in New York; a fitting height for the 100th floor observation deck, which will jut out 65 feet, providing unobstructed views of Manhattan via the 28-acre Hudson Yards project. The building has direct access to The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards and a direct connection to the No. 7 Subway station, facilitating a seamless interchange of commerce.

The framework arrived on a flatbed truck. In the background is Vessel, the 150-foot-high steel monument that will form the centerpiece of a five-acre public square in the sprawling development. | Photo courtesy of Timothy Schenck

“Hudson Yards has already been a contributor to the city’s economy and as it continues to progress, it will be an economic engine for the city, and region, by creating more than 55,000 jobs and contributing nearly $19 billion annually to New York City’s gross domestic product,” Jay Cross, President of Related Hudson Yards, told Chelsea Now.

Programming for the adjoining 101st floor will include a signature 10,000 square foot restaurant, bar and event space run by renowned hospitality group, rhubarb. The observation deck is scheduled to open in late 2019, shortly after The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, and the Public Square and Gardens and its centerpiece, Vessel, to open in March 2019. Included in that phase will be the inaugural season of The Shed, Hudson Yards’ arts and entertainment centerpiece located adjacent to 15 Hudson Yards, also bordering the Public Square and Gardens.

“Construction of the observation deck is the next major milestone in bringing Manhattan’s newest neighborhood to life,” added Cross. “When it opens, the Hudson Yards Observation Deck will serve as the new focal point for the West Side skyline. Whether you’re interested in a cocktail, a celebratory dinner, or just want to see what the city looks like from 1,000 feet up in the sky, the Hudson Yards Observation Deck will offer a truly unique New York experience.”

The steel framework made its way up 30 Hudson Yards, scheduled to open in late 2019. | Photo courtesy of Joe Woolhead

The Hudson Yards Observation Deck is made up of 15 primary sections, each weighing between 35,000 and 100,000 lbs. Bolted together and anchored to the east and south sides of the building, the 765,000 lb. observation deck will create a 7,500-square-foot outdoor viewing area. A nine-foot tall angled glass wall will encircle the deck, and a window in the floor will provide a once-in-a-lifetime look at the neighborhood below.

The 15 steel pieces of the deck were fabricated in Italy, with the structural glass made in Germany. The pieces of the deck were fully assembled in Italy before being broken down again into its constituent sections for the boat trip to New York City. Granite paver stones quarried in Virginia were cut and finished in Quebec, making the construction a truly international endeavor.

“The design of our two towers at Hudson Yards is based on our intention of making overt responses to all aspects of the surrounding urban landscape,” said Bill Pedersen, Founding Design Partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. “The most dramatic of these gestures will be the observation deck which cantilevers 65 feet out into space from the top of 30 Hudson Yards reaching out, almost as an invitation, to all of Manhattan. Together with the Vessel, these dramatic architectural structures are included in Hudson Yards for all to enjoy.”

Workers raised the framework for the observation deck at 30 Hudson Yards, which at 1,000 feet will be the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Photo courtesy of Joe Woolhead

An architectural rendering of the Hudson Yards Observation Deck that will stand at the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards. | Courtesy of Related-Oxford

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