NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s another way to take in New York City‘s skyline. A new observation deck and art exhibit called the “Summit One Vanderbilt” officially opened Thursday.
More than 90 stories up, high school students from Bedford Academy in Brooklyn were the first to explore the views and mirrored floors from all angles.READ MORE: 1 Killed In Paterson House Fire
“This is really cool and it’s an honor to be one of the first people to get to experience it. Awesome,” added senior Kamyah John told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.
The exhibit called “Air” takes over the top three floors of this brand new One Vanderbilt building on East 42nd Street across from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Artist Kenzo Digital said he created the exhibit to feel dreamlike and escape reality.
“I created Air for New Yorkers, first and foremost, as an oasis, a Central Park in the sky, that they can escape and feel the power of the present moment. It is a place of contemplation, meditation and joy. It is a cathedral to human connection,” Digital said.
At 1,200 feet up, the Summit is the highest vantage point in Midtown.
The students said stepping on to the glass floor was a lesson in bravery.
“It has been trippy, to say the least. I feel like I’m living in a mirror,” one student said.READ MORE: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th
“You can look down and see all of the reflections,” senior Brandon Smith added.
One Vanderbilt is now the fourth-tallest building in the city. It is home to office space shops and restaurants. The whole project has a pretty hefty price tag at $3.3 billion. The builder said his crew rose above big challenges.
“When we completed this building in September of 2020, right in the heart of the pandemic, there were those who thought when we open the building it was the worst possible time. Now, we’re more than 90% leased and we did that despite COVID and every dire prediction of New York City’s demise,” said Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty.
Creators hope Summit One Vanderbilt helps drum up excitement to Midtown restaurants, businesses that have struggled throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ever since COVID-19, everyone has been so huddled in. For us to have this is beautiful,” student Meagyn Phillips said.
At the exhibit’s last stop, visitors can see their faces in digital clouds. The students said the experience has brought a new perspective on the city.MORE NEWS: CNN's Chris Cuomo Fired Over Involvement In Brother Andrew Cuomo's Response To Sexual Harassment Scandal
Tickets cost $39 for tourists, but there is a $5 discount for city residents.