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Bryant Park


Bryant Park is a 9.6-acre (39,000 m2) public park located in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Privately managed, it is located between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan. The eastern half of Bryant Park is occupied by the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. The western half, which contains a lawn, shaded walkways, and amenities such as a carousel, is located entirely over an underground structure that houses the library's stacks. The park hosts several events, including a seasonal "Winter Village" with an ice rink and shops during the winter.

The first park at the site was opened in 1847 and was called Reservoir Square due to its proximity to the Croton Distributing Reservoir. Reservoir Square contained the New York Crystal Palace, which hosted the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in 1853 and burned down in 1858. The square was renamed in 1884 for abolitionist and journalist William Cullen Bryant. The reservoir was demolished in 1900 and the New York Public Library's main branch was built on the site, opening in 1911. Bryant Park was rebuilt in 1933–1934 to a plan by Lusby Simpson. After a period of decline, it was restored in 1988–1992 by architecture firms Hanna/Olin Ltd. and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, during which the park was rebuilt and the library's stacks were built underneath. Further improvements were made in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Though it is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Bryant Park is managed by the private not-for-profit organization Bryant Park Corporation, which was founded in 1980 and led the restoration of Bryant Park. The park is cited as a model for the success of public-private partnerships. The park is both a National Register of Historic Places listing and a New York City designated landmark.

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