The Edge Observation Deck is an architectural marvel and one of the newest additions to New York City's iconic skyline. Towering above Hudson Yards on the West Side of Manhattan, the Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. From its historical development as part of the ambitious Hudson Yards project to the viewing experiences it provides, the Edge embodies the city's spirit of innovation and grandeur. This article will take you through the history, features, and visitor experience at the Edge, offering a comprehensive guide for visiting this unique New York City landmark.
The Edge Observation Deck forms part of an ambitious urban development project, Hudson Yards, located on Manhattan's West Side. Hudson Yards is one of the largest private real estate developments in the history of the United States, and the Edge is one of its most striking features.
Planning for Hudson Yards commenced in 2005 to convert a sizable tract of underutilized space into a vibrant, mixed-use community. The development includes various residential, commercial, and public areas, with the Edge adding a notable attraction to its portfolio.
Construction of the Edge began several years later as part of the development of 30 Hudson Yards, one of the complex's largest skyscrapers. This innovative structure, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and engineered by Thornton Tomasetti, reaches a height of 1,296 feet, with the Edge extending 80 feet from the 100th floor.
The Edge was officially opened to the public in March 2020, offering a unique vantage point 1,131 feet above ground level. The glass-floor viewing platform, the highest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, has rapidly become a must-visit landmark for residents and visitors to New York City, adding a new dimension to the city's iconic skyline.
The Edge Observation Deck extends 80 feet from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards at a staggering height of 1,131 feet, making it the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere.
The platform's most distinguishing feature is its shape: a triangular deck that provides expansive 360-degree views of New York City and beyond. Visitors can see numerous city landmarks from this vantage point, including the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the entirety of Manhattan.
Adding to the thrilling experience is the glass floor, which allows you to look directly down to the streets of New York. This portion of the deck, known as the "Eastern Point," is a narrow walkway designed for a limited number of visitors at a time, offering a unique perspective and a somewhat daring experience.
The deck also includes 9-foot tall, angled glass walls designed for an exhilarating "lean out" experience over the city. Furthermore, the deck's outdoor stairway, named the "Champagne Steps," provides seating areas where visitors can relax with a glass of champagne while enjoying the breathtaking views.
Lastly, Edge's sustainability efforts deserve mention. The building is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, reflecting a commitment to environmentally friendly practices.
Visiting the Edge Observation Deck is an accessible and straightforward process. The Edge is at 30 Hudson Yards, between 10th Avenue and 33rd Street. It is open seven days a week, although hours can vary depending on the time of year and special events, so it's always a good idea to check the official website or call ahead for the most current information.
To visit the Edge, you'll need to purchase a ticket. Ticket prices vary depending on the visitor's age, with discounts available for seniors and children. There are also options for VIP experiences and combination tickets with other attractions at Hudson Yards. All tickets include access to the outdoor sky deck, the glass-floor section, and all viewing areas.
When planning your visit, remember that most visitors spend approximately one hour at the Edge, but you can certainly take more time if you'd like. Once you're done admiring the views from the Edge, you can explore the other attractions at Hudson Yards, which include shopping, dining, and other entertainment options.
Safety at the Edge Observation Deck is paramount. Every aspect has been meticulously planned, from the design and construction to the day-to-day operations, to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience for visitors.
The Edge's structure is a robust steel frame with reinforced glass panels to withstand extreme weather conditions and seismic events. These materials are regularly inspected and maintained to guarantee their integrity.
Access to the Edge is strictly controlled. Visitors go through security checks before entering, much like at an airport. Baggage size is limited, and certain items, such as weapons and glass containers, are prohibited.
The sky deck's glass barriers are 9 feet tall, designed to prevent accidental falls. The glass floor section is constructed with multiple layers of laminated glass, which is remarkably strong and resistant to cracking or breaking.
For those concerned about heights, it's worth noting that the Edge has a solid surface, not a grid or mesh, providing secure footing. There are also staff members available to assist anyone who might need support.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Edge has implemented additional safety measures. These include limiting the capacity for social distancing, requiring masks for all visitors and staff, conducting temperature checks upon entry, and enhancing cleaning and sanitation procedures throughout the facility. All these measures align with the guidelines provided by health authorities.
The Edge Observation Deck, rising above New York City's skyline, is an unparalleled urban vantage point. From its compelling history and construction, impressive features like the glass floor and expansive views, and attractions. Whether you are a local New Yorker looking for a different perspective of your city, or a visitor hoping to experience the breathtaking New York skyline, the Edge offers an unforgettable experience. Its unique blend of architectural innovation, design brilliance, and mindful visitor experience sets it apart, making it a must-visit destination in New York City.