Something happens and I'm head over heels
February 4, 2011 1:21 PM   Subscribe

MorbidCuriosityFilter: I just saw this on my friend's blog, which is an odd coincidence, because only the other day I was wondering: How many people have jumped or fallen off of the spiral walkway at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC?

I imagine this is the sort of thing the Guggenheim doesn't like to talk about. But are there are any incidents on record? I've spent a fair amount of time there (my company has a corporate membership that allows me to get in free), and I've always found the walls along the outside of the spiral to be disturbingly low -- I'm guessing probably not up to contemporary code standards.

Whether or not anyone's deliberately jumped, it's hard for me to believe that no one has accidentally fallen over. Anyone have any leads on this?
posted by Artifice_Eternity to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't find anything about the Guggenheim, but I do know that the Marriott Marquis in Times Square has a multi-story atrium that is a popular place for suicide jumpers.
posted by kimdog at 1:53 PM on February 4, 2011

Response by poster: kimdog: Yeah, the Marriott atrium is spectacular and vertiginous -- I actually took some 3D photos of it recently. Makes sense that it would have a problem with jumpers.

As I think about the Guggenheim, I'm pretty sure that the ramp spiral gets wider as it rises, so that it wouldn't be easy to jump all the way from the top to the bottom -- you'd at least bounce off one or more of the walls below as you fell. Maybe that makes it unattractive to potential jumpers, I don't know. Still, I can't believe there haven't been accidents.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:01 PM on February 4, 2011

(Um - I think you have that backwards...? Maybe my memory's failing, but the I thought the spiral narrowed slightly as it went up - which is why you'd have to very determinedly jump out in order to hit the rotunda floor. Also, at the beginning of the spiral, the ramp balloons out about twenty feet, so jumping from the "back" of the rotunda (the part farthest from 5th Avenue) would be required as well.)
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 2:46 PM on February 4, 2011

Response by poster: OneMonkeysUncle, are you talking about the width of the ramp itself? Maybe it does get narrower as it rises. I was referring to the diameter of the spiral -- I think we're agreed that it widens as it ascends. Maybe I didn't express myself clearly.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:52 PM on February 4, 2011

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