Early Bryant Park
Bryant was a leading light in nineteenth century New York
During World War I, Bryant Park was the site of one of the city’s largest public gardens. Planted by the National War Garden Commission and War Garden Committee of Manhattan, these victory gardens sought to involve citizens in food production and boost morale. Around the same time, the park was also home to the Eagle Hut, a facility built and operated by the Y.M.C.A. that provided a home away from home to soldiers and military personnel.
Construction of the Flushing subway line along West 42nd Street closed the north side of Bryant Park for most of the 1920s, leading to a period of neglect for the small urban
The Bicentennial committee built a wood and plaster replica of old Federal Hall, the Wall Street building in which Washington took the oath of office as the first U.S. President. A reenactment of that inauguration was staged there on April 30, 1932. Responding to an open completion, Queens, NY architect Lusby Simpson submitted a redesign of Bryant Park featuring a classical scheme of a large central lawn, formal pathways, stone balustrades and borers of London Plane trees, together with an oval plaza at the west end containing the existing Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain.
New York City’s powerful Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses, and his staff, including architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, oversaw execution of Simpson’s plan. The park was completed and opened to the public in September 1934. Shortly after, the New York Public Library established and outdoor reading room on the terrace at the eastern end of the park. In good weather, staffers moved stacks and book carts outside for readers to browse.
Location. 40° 45.22′ N, 73° 59.068′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West 40th Street
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Buildings Overlooking Bryant Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Crystal Palace (about 300 feet away); Mercury Theatre (about 400 feet away); Monuments in Bryant Park (about 400 feet away); Bryant Park Today (about 500 feet away); HSBC (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Wendel Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); New York Public Library (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . . Bryant Park is Born - Bryantparkorg. In 1884, Reservoir Square was renamed Bryant Park, to honor recently deceased Romantic poet, longtime editor of the New York Evening Post, and civic reformer, William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878). (Submitted on July 3, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 3, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.