Skyscrapers and New York City are practically synonymous. The Empire State Building held the record as the tallest building globally from 1931 to 1970, and now the Freedom Tower is the tallest building in the United States. So when the new Hudson Yards complex was being planned, developers knew they had to create something that would stand out. The result? The Edge at Hudson Yards — aka, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere.
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All About The Edge at Hudson Yards
The Edge opened on March 11, 2020, and StreetEasy got a sneak peek just before the pandemic lockdown of NYC’s latest attraction. And now it’s back for you to enjoy in all of its splendor. But here are some exciting details to know before you go.
During the pre-pandemic preview, designers from Rockwell Group were on hand to explain the thought process behind the experience. Fun fact: The Edge wasn’t even in the building’s original plans! It was added later to 30 Hudson Yards as the engineering and architectural feats were underway. “Ultimately, it’s a story of optimism,” says Melissa Hoffman, principal and studio leader for the LAB at Rockwell Group.
The multi-sensory attraction is broken into several zones that keep visitors moving and entertained throughout. First, you enter the security line, which has banners of videos playing all around that explain how developers saw Hudson Yards as “Manhattan’s last frontier.” “The place you’re standing didn’t exist until just a few short years ago,” a guide says.
Above you is a custom, large-scale light installation in the shape of Manhattan, creating nearly 360 degrees of entertainment while you wait. Once through security, you walk through multiple installations explaining how Manhattan’s newest neighborhood was built. Then you learn about the sustainability efforts of the building, which has LEED Platinum certification. Illustrations show off how it collects rainwater and emits clean air.
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The View From 1,100 Feet Up
After the history and engineering lesson, you finally make your way to the 100th floor. An incredible view awaits, as well as a downright terrifying glass-bottomed balcony. On the elevator ride up, which is just 52 seconds, you see a sketch of Hudson Yards being drawn before your eyes on the walls of the car.
Once you’ve reached the top, 1,100 feet in the air, you enter into a large enclosed observation room, much like the ones at the Empire State Building and One World Trade. From here, you see 360-degree views of Manhattan, the outer boroughs, the water, and New Jersey. You can order drinks, light bites, and even a glass of champagne on this level, and one more floor up (via a set of stairs) is Peak, a restaurant, lounge, and event space.
But, of course, visitors are here for one reason: to step out onto that outdoor deck. The 7,500 square foot viewing platform extends almost 80 feet out from the building. From it, you can see over 80 miles of unobstructed views. Pose for a selfie in front of the nine-foot-tall, angled glass walls, and you have all of lower Manhattan as your backdrop. And the edge of The Edge — the point of the triangle — is only big enough for one person, making it the ultimate photo spot. If you dare, head over the 225-square-foot glass floor, where you can look 100 stories straight down to see the city streets below. Yikes!
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Special Events at 30 Hudson Yards
Like most attractions in NYC, the Edge has unique rotating and permanent offerings. For example, the Summer at Edge series allows you to enjoy frosé and liquor-infused ice cream at the city’s highest outdoor bar. In addition, the attraction previously sold tickets to view the Fourth of July fireworks from the deck and has an Instagram-worthy Floral Vortex on display at the indoor sky deck. And don’t forget the regular Sky-High Yoga sessions from Edge x Equinox. For $50, you get a 45-minute yoga class with an Equinox instructor at 6:30 am on the outdoor sky deck. It also comes with admission to Edge 15 minutes after the class and a gift bag with wellness products.
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Visiting the Edge at Hudson Yards
The Edge keeps ambitious operating hours: 8 am to midnight, 365 days a year, with the last elevator ride operating 50 minutes before closing. Tickets are available for purchase at edgenyc.com or the box office located on Level 4 of the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Adult tickets cost $36 online, with a discounted $34 price for New York City residents. Upgrade premium ticket for $71, and you’ll get a glass of champagne and a personalized photo book. StreetEasy tip: For the best photos, opt for an afternoon or evening visit. You’ll end up with backlit pictures if you go too early in the day.