Bryant Park

  • Caption
    View of Park
Related people
Lusby Simpson (was created by)
Olin Partnership (architectural firm)
Robert M. Hanna Landscape Architects (landscape architecture firm)
1884;ca. 1933-1935 (alteration);1988 (revitalization)
North and Central America->United States->New York->New York
The park was renamed for William Cullen Bryant in 1884. New York City's powerful parks commissioner, the legendary public-works "czar" Robert Moses, undertook to rescue and redesign the park during the Great Depression. Queens-based architect Lusby Simpson won a competition (1933) for the park's redesign, a classical scheme of a large central lawn, formal pathways, stone balustrades, and borders of London plane trees, together with an oval plaza, containing the Lowell Fountain, at the west end, separated from Sixth Avenue by a broad flight of steps. Moses's staff, including the architect Aymar Embury II and the landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, oversaw execution of Simpson's plan.
In 1980, the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation created a new master plan to revitalize the historic park. The plan was created by Hanna/Olin Ltd., which later split into the Olin Partnership and RM Hanna Landscape Architects. The plan was approved in 1988. It included the restoration of many of the paths and gardens as well as the creation of new entrances that increase the park's visibility from the surrounding streets. Today, the park is a successful example of urban renewal through both private and public partnerships and is a major attraction in New York City.
Beaux-Arts (AAT)