Bryant Park is a 9.6-acre (39,000-m2) public park in the Manhattan borough of New York City. It is privately operated in Midtown Manhattan between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) and between 40th and 42nd Streets. The New York Public Library’s Main Branch occupies the eastern half of Bryant Park. The western portion, which includes a lawn, covered pathways, and attractions like a carousel, is built entirely on top of the library’s stacks, which are housed beneath. The park organizes many activities during the winter, including a seasonal “Winter Village” with an ice rink and stores. Click for more info
Because of its closeness to the Croton Distributing Reservoir, its first park, Reservoir Square, was built in 1847. The New York Crystal Palace, which held the Industry of All Nations Exhibition in 1853 and burnt down in 1858, was located in Reservoir Square. William Cullen Bryant, an abolitionist, and writer, were honored with a renaming of the plaza in 1884.
The reservoir was dismantled in 1900, and the main branch of the New York Public Library was erected on the site, which opened in 1911. Lusby Simpson’s idea was used to rebuild Bryant Park from 1933 to 1934. It was renovated from 1988 to 1992 by architectural companies Hanna/Olin Ltd. and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates. The park was reconstructed, and the library’s stacks were created underneath it after a period of decline. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, further advancements were accomplished.
Though it is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Bryant Park is maintained by the Bryant Park Corporation. This private non-profit organization was created in 1980 and was instrumental in the park’s rehabilitation. The park is an example of how successful public-private collaborations can be. The park is recorded on the National Register of Historic Places and is a certified landmark in New York City.
Bryant Park and the Main Branch of the New York Public Library were both added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1966. However, its NRHP registration differs from the “New York Public Library” listing from the same day, which only included the main branch building. The park was also listed as an official aesthetic monument by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1974.
Bryant Park is operated by BPC, which is privately financed and uses private-sector practices and management systems. BPC provides sanitation, security, clean facilities, colorful gardens, and seasonal horticultural installations for the park as an agent for the City of New York and maintains green grass available to the public. BPC also collaborates with civic-minded businesses and park visitors to provide fun amenities, free educational events, and high-quality entertainment.
Concessionaires are carefully selected and managed to ensure that park guests access high-quality food and products. As it works to develop the park each year, BPC pays careful attention to other models and is consistently on the watch for new ideas, whether from inside the company or from outside, with the end aim in mind: to deliver the ideal park to the public. Visit the website or call (212) 768-4242 for additional information. Learn more about New York City here.